Actress Maria Schneider, who starred in such films as The Passenger (1975) and Jane Eyre (1996), passed yesterday at the age of 58 after a long illness.
Maria Schneider was born on 27 March, 1952 in Paris. Her mother was Marie-Christine Schneider, the Romanian model, and her father was actor Daniel Gélin. Born out of wedlock, her father would not acknowledge her until she was a teenager. At age fifteen she left the German town in which her mother was raising her for Paris. There she made a meagre living as a model and sometimes a film extra. It was legendary actress Brigitte Bardot who came to her rescue. She put her up in her home and found her an agent at William Morris.
Miss Schneider started in films with small roles in such film as L'arbre de Noël (1969) and Les Femmes (1969). Her first credited role came with Les jambes en l'air (1972). She appeared in such films as La vieille fille (1972) and What a Flash (1972) before appearing in her famous role in Last Tango in Paris (1972). The film was controversial for it sexual explicitness, so much so the MPAA ratings board gave it an "X" rating (even today it is rated "NC-17"). Miss Schneider became a sex symbol over night, much to her dismay. She wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. She would spend much of her career trying to escape the image Last Tango in Paris had conveyed. She appeared in the films The Passenger (1975) and La Baby Sitter (1975). Her career declined in the late Seventies.
In the Eighties she appeared in such films as Merry-Go-Round (1981), Yoroppa tokkyu (1984) and Bunker Palace Hotel (1989). She appeared on the TV series L'or noir de Lornac. In the Nineties she appeared in such films as La condanna (1991), Au pays des Juliets (1992), Jane Eyre (1996), Something to Believe In (1998), and Actors (2000). In the Naughts she appeared in such films as La repentie (2002), La Clef (2007), and Cliente.She appeared on the shows Maigret and A.D. La guerre de l'ombre,