The Young Lieutenant
A leading actress in France, Nathalie Baye has been nominated for nine César Awards and won four. She won the Best Supporting Actress category for her acting in “Every Man For Himself” (1980) and “Strange Affair” (1981) and Best Actress for “La Balance” (1982) and “The Young Lieutenant” (2005, also won an Étoile d'Or Award). She also nabbed a Seattle International Film Festival Award for her work in “Venus Beauty Institute” (1999) and “An Affair of Love” (1999), for which she picked up a Venice Film Festival Award. In addition, she received a San Sebastián International Film Festival for “Mon fils à moi” (2006). Other credits include roles in “Day for Night” (1973), “A Week's Vacation” (1980), “Every Man For Himself” (1980), “The Return of Martin Guerre” (1982), “J'ai épousé une ombre” (1983), “Every Other Weekend” (1990) and “Feelings” (2003). She has also appeared in the productions “Two People” (1973, with Peter Fonda) and Steven Spielberg's “Catch Me If You Can” (2002, with Leonardo DiCaprio) as well as the HBO film “And the Band Played On” (1993).
Baye was in a relationship with French actor Philippe Leotard from 1972 to 1982. They appeared together in “La Balance” (1982). Leotard passed away on August 25, 2001, at age 61. Baye then began dating rock legend Johnny Hallyday (born June 15, 1943) and gave birth to their child, Laura Hallyday, in 1983. The couple, however, split up in 1986. She is currently in a relationship with French actor Jean-Yves Berteloot (born August 27, 1958), who is ten years her junior.
Childhood and Family:
Nathalie Marie Andrée Baye was born on July 6, 1948, in Mainneville, France, to painters Claude Baye and Denise Coustet. At age 14, she dropped out of school and attended dance classes in Monaco. By age 17, she had toured with a dance company to the United States. After returning to France from the U.S., Nathalie kept dancing but also attended the Simon Course for the Academy and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art of Paris. She graduated in 1972 with a focus on comedy, drama and foreign theatre.
On November 15, 1983, Nathalie had a daughter named Laura, with Johnny Hallyday.
Catch Me If You Can
Young Nathalie Baye opted to leave school in favor of enrolling in ballet classes in Monaco. At age 17, she toured the U.S. with a dance company. She returned to the U.S. three years later, but moved back to France soon after. After graduating from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art of Paris, Baye launched her film career with a supporting role in the French comedy “Faustine et le Bel Été,” opposite Isabelle Adjani. It was screened at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival out of competition. The same year, she also made her stage debut in “Galapages,” with Gerard Depardieu and Bernard Blier.
More film roles followed in 1973. She broke into the Hollywood scene with a one scene role in Robert Wise's drama “Two People” and appeared with Gérard Depardieu, Jean Topart and Françoise Lugagne in the TV film “L'inconnu.” The actress, however, did not experience real success until she joined the cast of the Francois Truffaut critically acclaimed “Day for Night” (“La nuit américaine”), where she memorably portrayed Joelle. Starring Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud, the film won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1974 Academy Awards and went on to receive nominations for Best Director, Best Writing, Original Screenplay and Best Actress in a Supporting Role. It also won three BAFTA Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, among other honors.
Baye next starred as Nathalie in Maurice Pialat's “The Mouth Agape” (1974), opposite Monique Mélinand, Philippe Léotard and Hubert Deschamps, was reunited with Isabelle Adjani in Claude Pinoteau's “La gifle” (1974) and co-starred with Michel Fugain and Charles Gérard in Pierre Sisser's “Un jour, la fête” (1975). She went on to appear in the comedy “Fill 'er Up with Super” (1976, directed by Alain Cavalier), Nadine Trintignant's “The Honeymoon Trip” (“Le voyage de noces,” (1976), which starred Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli and François Marthouret, Marco Ferrari's “The Last Woman” (1976), a reunion with Gérard Depardieu, Claude Sautet's “Mado” (1976, starred Michel Piccoli, Ottavia Piccolo and Jacques Dutronc) and René Féret's “Solemn Communion” (1977). In 1977, she was also reunited with Truffaut for “The Man Who Loved Women,” in which she portrayed the role of Martine Desdoits. The film was entered into the 1977 Berlin International Film Festival, where it received a Golden Berlin Bear nomination, and was nominated for three Césars, including Best Actor and Best Supporting Role. After costarring with Claude Brasseur and Nicolas Reboul in Philippe Monnier's “Monsieur Papa” (1977), she acted in “The Green Room” (1978), which received a César nomination for Best Cinematography. She followed it up with performances in the films “Mon premier amour” (1978) and “La mémoire courte” (1979) and the TV movies “Sacré farceur” (1978) and “Madame Sourdis” (1979).
In 1980, Baye delivered a convincing portrayal of her character in Bertrand Tavernier's “A Week's Vacation,” which received a Golden Palm nomination at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival. For her fine acting, she was nominated for a César in the category of Best Actress. She further gained attention with her award winning turn as Denise Rimbaud, a woman leaving her husband for a life in the country, in “Every Man For Himself” (1980), a drama directed, co-written and co-produced by Jean-Luc Godard. Working alongside Jacques Dutronc and Isabelle Huppert, she took home a César for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. She picked up her second César for her scene stealing role as an unhappily married woman named Nina Coline in “Strange Affair” (“Un entrange affair,” 1981), a drama helmed and co-written by Pierre Granier-Deferre. She also worked in the films “Rat Race” (1980), Claude Goretta's “La provinciale” (1981), Bertrand Blier's “Beau-père” (1981) and Jean-Louis Comolli's “L'ombre rouge” (1981).
Baye next enjoyed international prominence with the historical drama “The Return of Martin Guerre” (“Le Retour de Martin Guerre,” 1982), which was directed, produced and co-written by Daniel Vigne. The film earned nominations at the 1984 Academy Awards and the 1985 BAFTA Awards, in addition to winning three César Awards. In the film, she was cast as Bertrande de Rols, the wife of a soldier (played by Gerard Depardieu). It was followed by a notable starring turn as a streetwalker involved with a petty thief in Bob Swaim's thriller “La Balance” (1982), for which she won a César for Best Actress. In Robin Davis' drama “J'ai épousé une ombre” (1983), she was cast as Helena and handed a 1984 César nomination for Best Actress for her performance. The rest of the decade found the actress starring in such films as “Our Story” (“Notre histoire,” 1984), “Rive droite, rive gauche” (1984), “Détective” (1985), which reunited her with filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, “Le Neveu de Beethoven” (1985), “Lune de miel” (1985), “De guerre lasse” (1987), “En toute innocence” (1988) and “Massacre Play” (“Gioco al massacre,” 1989).
During the 1990s, Baye starred with Jacques Dutronc in Bruno Chiche's “Le pinceau à lèvres” (1990), which was nominated for a Golden Palm for Best Short Film at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, was cast as Lena in Diane Kurys' “La Baule-les-Pins” (1990), and worked with Jürgen Prochnow and Peter Coyote in the France/U.S. produced drama “The Man Inside” (1990), for director Bobby Roth. She then offered a memorable performance as Camille Valmont in Nicole Garcia's “Every Other Weekend” (1990), which earned her a César nomination for Best Actress. After a brief hiatus in 1991, Baye resurfaced with roles in such films as “La Voix” (1992), “From Time to Time” (“The Timekeeper”), “The Lie” (1993), “La Machine” (1994), “La Mère” (1995) and “Paparazzi” (1998, as Nicole), to name a few. She made her American television movie debut with the HBO docudrama “And the Band Played On” (1993). Costars of the film included Matthew Modine, Alan Alda, Ian McKellen, Lily Tomlin and Jeffrey Nordling.
Baye returned to the spotlight in the late 1990s with strong performances in “An Affair of Love” and “Venus Beauty Institute” (both 1999). In the first film, which was directed by Frédéric Fonteyne, she was nominated for a European Film Award for Best Actress and won a Volpi Cup for Best Actress. She netted a Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actress at the 2000 Seattle International Film Festival for both roles. “Venus Beauty Institute,” which marked her second film with director/writer Tonie Marshall, received a limited theatrical release in the U.S.
In the new millennium, Baye worked in Xavier Beauvois' “To Mathieu” (2000), where she was cast as a victim of blackmail, Jeanne Labrune's “Tomorrow's Another Day” (2000), Bruno Chiche's “Barnie et ses petites contrariétés” (2001) and Gabriel Aghion's “Absolument Fabuleux” (2001), a French version of the hit British film “Absolutely Fabulous.” In 2002, she made her return to Hollywood in “Catch Me If You Can,” a movie based on the life of Frank Abagnale, Jr. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the film enjoyed commercial and critical success.
Back to French movies, Baye starred in Claude Chabrol's “The Flower of Evil” (2003), Tonie Marshall's “France Boutique” (2003), “Une vie à t'attendre” (2004) and “One Stays, the Other Leaves” (2005). She was nominated for a César in the category of Best Actress for her portrayal of Carole in Noémie Lvovsky's “Feelings” (2003), but she did not receive her next Best Actress César until she was cast as Commandant Caroline Vaudieu in Xavier Beauvois' “The Young Lieutenant” (2005), opposite Jalil Lespert, Antoine Chappey and Jacques Perrin. The role also brought her an Étoile d'Or for Best Actress and a European Film nomination in the same category. In 2006, she won a Silver Seashell for Best Actress at the 2006 San Sebastián International Film Festival for her work in Martial Fougeron's “Mon fils à moi” (2006).
Baye was next seen in “French California” (2006), “Tell No One” (2006), “Michou d'Auber” (2007), Alexandra Leclère's “The Price to Pay” (2007), “Off and Running” (2008), “God's Offices” (2008), “Cliente” (2008), “Marie-Octobre” (TV, 2008) and Ming-liang Tsai's “Face” (2009). Recently, in 2010, she portrayed Marie-France in Léa Fazer's “Ensemble, c'est trop,” was featured in the TV film “Le grand restaurant” and costarred with Audrey Tautou in Pierre Salvadori's “Full Treatment.” She also teamed up again with Gérard Depardieu in “Small World” (2010), Bruno Chiche's adaptation of Martin Suter's 1997 novel of the same name.
San Sebastián International Film Festival: Silver Seashell, Best Actress, “Mon fils à moi,” 2006
César: Best Actress (Meilleure actrice), “The Young Lieutenant,” 2006
Étoile d'Or: Best Actress (Premier rôle féminin), “The Young Lieutenant,” 2006
Seattle International Film Festival: Golden Space Needle Award, Best Actress, “Vénus beauté (institut)” and “Une liaison pornographique,” 2000
Venice Film Festival: Volpi Cup, Best Actress, “Une liaison pornographique,” 1999
César: Best Actress (Meilleure actrice), “La balance,” 1983
César: Best Supporting Actress (Meilleur second rôle féminin), “Strange Affair,” 1982
César: Best Supporting Actress (Meilleur second rôle féminin), “Sauve qui peut (la vie),” 1981