French actress, Catherine Deneuve, was born Catherine Dorleac on October 22, 1943, in Paris, France.
Following her actor parents’ footsteps, Catherine’s first role came when she was 13 years old, appearing alongside her younger sister, Sylvie Dorleac, in Les Collegiennes (The Twilights Girls). The budding actress eventually took on her mother’s maiden name of Deneuve to differentiate herself from her siblings as her career progressed rapidly throughout the next few decades.
Deneuve also acted with her elder sister, Francoise Dorleac, in the 1967 film, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort); tragically, Francoise passed in a car accident the same year the film was released.
A classic beauty, Deneuve’s breakthrough role was as Madame Emery’s teenaged daughter, Genevieve, in the 1964 musical, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). The film, which she still often considers to be her favorite film to date, catapulted her rise to stardom. Merely a year later, Deneuve portrayed a beautiful yet tormented female killer in the psychological thriller film, Repulsion. Perhaps to further promote her more provocative films, Deneuve posed nude for Playboy in her early 20s between 1963 and 1965.
In 1967, Deneuve pushed cinematic and erotic boundaries with her enactment of housewife-turned-prostitute, Severine, in Belle de Jour (Beauty of the Day), cementing her wide-ranging acting abilities, as well as reinforcing the sensual yet emotionally detached maiden persona she would be known and highly sought out for.
After her seven-year marriage to photographer David Bailey, with whom she had no children, Deneuve’s consequent relationships with equally famous, well-accomplished men such as director Roger Vadim and actor Marcello Mastroianni were highly publicized. Deneuve’s children, Christian Vadim and Chiara Mastroianni, have followed her footsteps in their careers.
While Deneuve’s filmography remains largely French in nature, with over 100 film credits to her name across a variety of genres from comedies to dramas, she gained fame and popularity with American audiences with The April Fools and The Hunger. Her 1992 role in Indochine (Indochina), earned her an Academy Award nomination, a rare feat for a non-American to achieve. Her 2008 role in A Christmas Tale also earned her international recognition and a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actress. She has been nominated for a Cesar Award 12 times, winning the award three times for Best Actress and once for Best Supporting Actress.
As the star's name became well-known across the world for her cinematic ability as well as her iconic, ageless beauty, Deneuve has lent her likeness and personal brand to various fashion names such as L’Oreal Paris, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. In 1985 she was voted to represent the national symbol of liberty in France, that of the persona, Marianne.
Deneuve is multi-lingual and continues to act well into her 70s today, with two films in the works for 2015. In December 2013, the European Film Academy selected her as a recipient of a lifetime achievement award.
An early leader of the women’s rights movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York. Stanton’s father, a lawyer and judge, reportedly did not care for daughters, openly preferring sons. Her father’s favoritism for boys, perhaps due to none of his sons surviving into adulthood, undoubtedly fueled Stanton’s later desire in life to participate - and excel - in activities that were considered to be male-centric during that era, such as petitioning and advocating for various legal, political, social and religious reforms.
Born into a privileged and prominently wealthy family, Stanton formally received the best quality female education at both the Johnstown Academy and Emma Willard’s Troy Female Seminary for young women, studying and reading widely in a variety of subjects. While she did not go on to college, as many other women of leisure and her stature at the time, she eventually received an informal legal education from her father, who later became one of her biggest supporters long with her brother-in-law throughout her lifetime as an activist.
In 1840, Stanton married abolitionist and journalist, Henry Stanton, with whom she had seven children. The newly married Stanton soon found out that society and the law was biased against women - married women, in particular, were not privy to the same rights as their male counterparts, from property ownership to their own incomes, children and even bodies. For this reason, she requested to omit the word “obey” from her marital vows to Stanton, declaring that they were entering marriage as equals, and that she remained an individual person with individual rights.
In fact, during the Stantons’ honeymoon in London, Elizabeth became furious that women were barred from attending a World’s Anti-Slavery convention. Years later, fueled by this same passion and great lack of intellectual stimulation she did not find in motherhood and child-rearing, Stanton rallied like-minded women and held the very first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.
To further fight for, and elevate, all women’s status, as well as to call for legal and societal
changes to be implemented, Stanton authored and presented “The Declaration of Sentiments” for signature by all convention attendees calling for women’s equality. While accounts and perspectives vary, this convention has often been regarded as the first organized women’s rights event in the early women’s suffrage movement. Stanton also petitioned for the State of New York’s Congress to pass the New York Married Women’s Property Act that same year.
In 1851, Stanton met and partnered with fellow activist, Susan B. Anthony, and their efforts for women’s rights gained more momentum straight through the Civil War era, including several decades following the war, such as founding the National Woman Suffrage Association together in 1869, for which Stanton served as President for over twenty years.
While a great orator and speaker herself, Stanton was often relegated to writing and scripting Anthony’s speeches as her single and childless counterpart did not have family and traveling restrictions as she did. This did not stop Stanton’s activism efforts, as she further developed and expanded her writings in spite of being her seven children’s primary caregiver.
In addition to authoring The Woman’s Bible, challenging the notion of women’s subservience towards men, with several other like-minded, progressive women of her time, Stanton published extensive works addressing specific social and legal rights for women, including their right to divorce and refuse their husbands’ sexual demands, just as much as their rights to vote and serve on juries.
While Stanton’s views were often cited as racist, including her petitioning against the right for African American men to vote, Stanton and those closest to her insist that her opposition was motivated by gender alone and not skin color. In fact, her support for interracial marriage was publicly known and shunned upon by her social equals, while her bold ideas eschewing religion eventually alienated her from more traditional suffragists.
Stanton passed in 1902 at her home in New York, due to heart complications. Women were granted the right to vote in the United States 18 years later.