Photo of Leslie Caron Leslie Caron

Actress Leslie Caron, who delighted audiences throughout the 1950s in lush film musicals, was born on July 1, 1931, in Boulogne-Billaincourt, France. Groomed by her dancer mother for a ballet career, Caron debuted with the famed Ballet de Champs Elysses at age 16. Three years later, Gene Kelly discovered Caron and cast her in the 1951 classic An American in Paris.

The gamine beauty sang and danced her way through the decade in many celebrated musicals, including Lili (for which she was nominated for Best Actress), Daddy Long Legs, Gaby and Gigi. In 1963, she scored a second Oscar nomination for her role as an unmarried pregnant woman in the drama The L-Shaped Room and had another hit the next year with Father Goose, opposite Cary Grant.

Her later roles include Valentino, Damage, Chocolat and Le Divorce, as well as an Emmy-winning guest spot on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" in 2007.

Leslie Caron in An American in Paris

An American in Paris

1951 NR

Once a struggling painter, opportunistic American artist Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) now lives in the City of Light, enjoying the patronage of a well-heeled, amorous American gallery owner (Nina Foch) -- and swiftly falling for a willowy French street urchin (Leslie Caron). Trouble is, the object of Mulligan's affection also happens to be engaged to a famous French singer (Georges Guétary). This tour de force movie musical nabbed seven Oscars.

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