Romy Schneider: “Alain Delon was very handsome, but a coward. “What a bourgeois male.”

Update Post: November 28, 2023 9:25 am

September 23rd marks the 85th birthday of actress Romy Schneider


When they write about her, they cannot resist the word “tragedy” and the phrase: “Alain Delon ruined her life.”

The tragedies of his life were real and did not fit into the well-known formula “Alain Delon is a goat”, although Romy Schneider, more than anyone, had the right to pronounce this phrase sincerely. Of course, his relationship lasted almost six years, and then he went to Mexico with his lover and said goodbye to Romy with a note. She sometimes spoke of a sincere friendship, that she could always count on him. Then her words about him will show bitterness and sadness. And towards the end of his life, in 1981, Schneider would write: “He was a bit of a coward, but very handsome. What a bourgeois male. Terribly ambitious, he only cared about his career and also about filling his apartment with Renoir paintings. It’s funny, but Delon sometimes accused his failed wife of being a philistine: German relatives, an official engagement at the insistence of his mother, a contemptuous attitude towards the French in general and the new cinema in particular… .

Delon is still alive and intimidates the public with words about his possible euthanasia. Schneider died of a heart attack when he was forty-three years old.


Rosemary Magdalena Albach, a very beautiful girl from an Austro-German acting family, in her youth took the pseudonym Romy Schneider in honor of her mother, actress Magda Schneider, who was lucky not to act in films under Hitler. Sometimes Magda participated in propaganda teams, but big films like “The Girls of My Dreams” passed her by. And so they left an opportunity to make a career after the war.

The future Romy was born on September 23, 1938 in Vienna. She would now be 85 years old. I write “would be” because there are many actresses who have skipped this date. For example, according to the September anniversary calendar, Romi’s neighbor is Lydia Fedoseeva-Shukshina (she was born on the 25th of the same year, 1938).

The parents of the future actress divorced when she was ten years old. Neither her father nor her mother were particularly interested in her daughter and she lived with her grandparents. We went to private schools: a boarding school in a castle, an Augustinian monastery. Even then she dreamed of cinema. Judging by the diary she kept since she was little, there was no period in Romy’s life in which she did not dream of cinema. Her mother, who did not even know about the girl’s wishes, accidentally helped: it was convenient to choose a real daughter as the daughter of her heroine, the resemblance was obvious. And Romy played her first role at 14 years old.

Romy Schneider and Alain Delon


And then there was Sissi, the Empress Elizabeth, played in the period melodrama by a 16-year-old girl with chubby cheeks and pale eyes. The long dresses of the 19th century, the majestic castles on her shoulders and the grass on the slopes of the mountains suited her. Millions of viewers in Europe watched three films about Sissi. The stepfather in charge of finances has already proposed to send his beautiful stepdaughter to the fourth movie for a gigantic sum for a twenty-year-old girl: one million. But Romy had an affair with Delon. Paris, travel, theater, filming with directors of a completely different level than the authors of “Sissi”. She became one of the favorite actresses of the great Luchino Visconti. A few years later, no one remembered plump Elizabeth. And the bohemian in her life replaced the bohemian.

He received the highest award in French cinema, the César. Covers, both in yellow magazines and in serious press. Marriages in which she was blatantly used. Novels that were attributed to him. But a couple of years before her death, she would write in her diary: “I used to desperately want to convince myself that I, Romy Schneider, could lead a normal life, like everyone else. I said it in an interview, I stated: I rest like everyone else, I live the day like everyone else. And today I know with certainty that so-called everyday life is completely impossible for me.”

She realized it quite late: everything was in the palm of her hand for a long time, on the set of the film “The Swimming Pool”, where she played with Alain Delon, who had already left her, but not forgotten. Yes, she Romy pretended that everything was in the past, that hugging an ex was as easy as pressing herself against a wall. She said that if everyone who has been a lover in life cannot act in a film, cinema will die. But she was very happy that critics liked her “ex” more. This suggests that it was important for her to defeat Delon at least in this way, on the court, in front of journalists who regularly wrote: “Romy still loves!” Until the end of her life, the press discussed her methods of dealing with Delon: alcohol, pills, a crutch-supported husband, another husband, a gigolo, and a thief.


But it wasn’t Delon who finally broke it. The son, a teenager, was jumping the fence. I ran into a fence pin… It was a huge tragedy. And soon Romy was gone too.

Even before the death of her son, the divorce, the surgery to remove a kidney, and the suicide of her first husband (these were the last four years of her life), Romy writes: “All the shadows disappeared. Shades of men who told me they loved me, but actually gave me nothing. Shadows of neurosis that forced me to swallow pills to overcome myself and free my head to work. I lived under the assumption imposed on me that I would be betrayed and abandoned to the mercy of fate. “My happiness was threatened from all sides.”

So it didn’t work with happiness. She was, as they joked in the movie “We’ll Live Until Monday,” “in labor.” But “happiness is when they understand you” did not arrive. Romy’s death on May 28, 1982 seemed so natural to the journalists that all of them, without waiting for the result of the examination, declared her suicide. That’s why this story is circulating about a woman who returned to a Parisian apartment at night, decided to listen to music, and supposedly took her own life.

In the morning they found her at her desk. My heart broke for the arbitrariness of fate and for the music. The funeral was conducted by Alain Delon.

PS: By the way, one more story can be told about the arbitrariness of fate. Sissy, Schneider’s first celebrated heroine, also lost her only child, and no one ever knew whether it was a suicide or a political assassination. Elizabeth of Bavaria herself trusted the second. She didn’t think much of herself, she refused protection and mourned her son until the last day. One day in September 1898, she was walking along the shore of Lake Geneva, where an Italian anarchist plunged a triangular sword into a woman’s heart. At first, Isabel did not understand anything and took a few more steps, after which she fell at the feet of her lady-in-waiting…

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September 23, 2023 12:35 am