Romy Schneider was only introduced to me within the last couple of years by my Austrian friend. Romy is not as well known in America but she is unforgettable in Europe. She was known as the “German Shirley Temple” in her early age. Romy Schneider was an Austrian-born actress who starred in German, French and American films from 1950’s through the early 1980’s (making over fifty films).
Although she played the Empress of Austria in Sissi, her life was far from a fairy-tale. Her father left Romy’s mother (actress, Magda Schneider) when she and her brother were young. Magda’s new husband (Romy’s stepfather) embezzled her acting money. On romance…her heart was broken several times (first by Alain Delon who left her for another woman and then the suicide of her first husband). The worst was when she lost her son when he was only fourteen in a tragic accident.
Romy Schneider was voted “Greatest actress of all time” by the readers of French newspaper “Le Parisien” and voted the premiere star of the 20th century in 2006.
Romy didn’t want to play princess roles or be known as a movie star. She said this about her role as a princess…”Sissi sticks to me just like oatmeal.” She refused to make a fourth Sissi movie. She wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. She moved to France and escaped her stepfather and was also challenged more as an actress.
She was stunning and a true talent. She died of natural causes when she was only forty-three. Her friends and family have complete conviction that she died of a broken heart.
1. “The moment I put on that first Chanel suit I knew I’d never wear anything else. Fashion is unimportant…elegance is all important.”
2. “If you get a great opportunity you have to grab it and don’t let go, then extend it with a lot of effort…talent is nothing more than love for the cause.”
3. “To get everything, one has to give everything. Which is quite a discovery for me. I know I am not easy to live with. I am hot tempered. I ask too much of friends. One should ask the maximum of oneself. But not of others.”
4. “Work, work and more work is my only true life. Life must go on. My work gives me strength.”
5. “The most important thing about me is that I am an actress. It would be a lie to say that acting was just my job or something I did for fun. It is my life. I have my home, my husband, my son. I have to be a little schizophrenic to cope with it all. But I am basically an actress who has a family; not a wife and mother who also acts. I prefer to work in films but if I was unable to then I would work on the stage. I couldn’t just stop and not be an actress any more.”
*This post is dedicated to my Austrian friend, Margot. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag und danke for introducing me to Romy Schneider. xx