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Carole Laure

Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
(b. August 5, 1951 Shawinigan, Quebec)

Iconic Québécois singer, sex symbol, actor and director Carole Laure was one of the biggest French-Canadian stars of the seventies, and is perhaps best known for her collaboration with director Gilles Carle, with whom she made six films, and director-actor-composer Lewis Furey, to whom she has been married since 1977.

Born Carole Champagne, she was adopted as a young child after her parents were killed in an accident; she grew up among six siblings in a loving family. She attended school at a local convent, developed a passion for music at a young age and trained as a concert pianist. She worked as a teacher after graduating from school but, at the age of twenty, she became involved in film, making her acting debut in Jean Chabot’s Mon enfance à Montréal (1971), for which she was credited as Carole Lord (a stage name she used for a brief time).

It didn’t take long for the beautiful young Laure – with her inherent charm and vulnerability, smoldering sensuality, melancholy eyes and striking features (her mother was of Indian descent) – to make her mark in film. She landed her first lead role in Jacques Godbout’s IXE-13 (1972), starred in the Quebec TV mini-series La Porteuse de pain (1973) and garnered great acclaim for her performance in Carle’s La Mort d’un bûcheron(1973). Her status as an international sex symbol was secured with her performance as the sultry Miss Canada in Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie (1974), which became famous for its scene of a naked Laure bathing in melted chocolate.

Her creative collaboration with Carle continued with the widely praised La Tête de Normande St-Onge (1975) and the somewhat less successful L’Ange et la femme (1977), which co-starred her husband, Furey. Her relationship with Furey, whom she had met earlier in 1977 at a cabaret in Montreal, would dramatically alter the course of Laure’s career. He encouraged her to take up singing and began writing material for her. By the end of 1977, the two were performing together in a popular musical revue in Paris, which they then brought to Montreal. In 1978, Furey wrote and produced Laure’s first album, Alibis, a mix of cabaret and tango rhythms that was a hit in Quebec and France.

Laure also starred in several high-profile French films during this period, notably Alain Corneau’s thriller La Menace (1977), opposite Yves Montand, and Bertrand Blier’s Preparez vos mouchoirs (1978), which co-starred Gérard Depardieu and Michel Serrault, won the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film and was named Best Film of the Year by the National Society of Film Critics.

In 1980, Laure starred in the stage musical Fantastica, which was written and composed by Furey and later adapted into a film by Carle. Starring Laure and Furey, the film version’s title song became a hit for Laure in Quebec. She received a Genie nomination for her lead role in Carle’s Maria Chapdelaine (1983) and starred in Furey’s directorial debut, Night Magic (1985), which he co-wrote with Leonard Cohen.

Throughout the eighties and nineties, Laure continued to act and tour in Quebec and France and released several more albums with Furey. Western Shadows (1989) featured Laure’s versions of such country and western classics as “Stand By Your Man” and “Seven Year Ache,” while She Says Move On (1991) saw her covering Jimi Henrix’s “Purple Haze” and Sentiments Naturels (1997) marked a turn toward electronica.

In 2002, Laure made her feature directorial debut with Les Fils de Marie, and in 2004 directed her daughter, Clara Furey, in CQ2 (Seek You Too), which won the Grand Golden Rail Award for Best Feature Film of the International Critic’s Week at the Cannes Film Festival and was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival®. Laure and Furey continue to split their time between homes in France and Quebec.

Film and video work includes

The Apprentice, 1971 (actor)
Mon enfance à Montréal, 1971 (actor)
La Feuille d'érable series, 1972 (director; TV)
IXE-13, 1972 (actor)
Series 4, 1972 (actor)
Les Corps célestes, 1973 (actor)
La Porteuse de pain, 1973 (actor; TV)
Sweet Movie, 1974 (actor)
A Thousand Moons, 1975 (actor)
Born for Hell, 1976 (actor)
Spécial Magnum, 1976 (actor)
La Menace, 1977 (actor)
Preparez vos mouchoirs, 1978 (actor)
La Jument vapeur, 1978 (actor)
Au revoir... à lundi, 1979 (actor)
Avec... le charme de Carole Laure, 1979 (appears as herself; TV)
Inside Out, 1979 (actor; TV)
Fantastica, 1980 (actor)
Asphalte, 1981
Un assassin qui passe, 1981 (actor)
Croque la vie, 1981 (actor)
Victory, 1981 (actor)
Maria Chapdelaine, 1983 (actor)
A mort l'arbitre, 1984 (actor)
Heartbreakers, 1984 (actor)
Palme d'or: Histoire du cinéma depuis 1945 series, 1984-85, (host; TV, 28 episodes)
Stress, 1984 (actor)
The Surrogate, 1984 (actor)
Drôle de samedi, 1985 (actor)
Night Magic, 1985 (actor)
Sauve-toi, Lola, 1986 (actor)
Sweet Country, 1987 (actor)
La Nuit avec Hortense, 1988 (actor)
Palace, 1988 (actor; TV)
Beau fixe sur Cormeilles, 1989 (actor)
Thank You Satan, 1989 (actor)
La Vie en couleurs, 1989 (actor; TV)
Les Nuls, series, 1990 (appears as herself; TV, one episode)
Flight from Justice, 1993 (actor; TV)
Elles ne pensent qu'à ça, 1994 (actor)
Rats and Rabbits, 2000 (actor; co-producer)
Primitifs, 2002 (actor)
Les Fils de Marie, 2002 (actor; director; writer; producer)
Blier by Nice, 2003 (appears as herself; TV)
Rive droite - rive gauche series, 2003 (appears as herself; TV, one episode)
CQ2, 2004 (director; writer; producer)
La Belle Bête, 2006 (actor)