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Arletty was born Léonie Marie Julie Bathiat in Courbevoie (near Paris), to a working-class family. After her father’s death, she left home and pursued a modeling career. She took the stage name “Arlette” based on the heroine of a story by Maupassant. She was not interested in acting until she met Paul Guillaume, a famous art dealer. He recommended some theaters and, at the age of 21, she was hired.
Her early career was dominated by the music hall, and she later appeared in plays and cabaret. Arletty was a stage performer for ten years before her film debut in 1930. Arletty’s career took off around 1936, when she appeared as the leading lady in the stage plays Les Joies du Capitole and Fric-Frac, in which she starred opposite Michel Simon. She later starred as Blanche in the French version of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Léonie Bathiat, dite Arletty, est une actrice française.