Furneaux, Yvonne

the famous actresses of the Italian Genre cinema
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Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:08

Yvonne Furneaux in Il leone di Tebe (1964)
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Yvonne Furneaux was a beautiful French-English actress active in European films, including many Italian productions, throughout the 1950's and 60's, with a one-off comeback appearance in the 80's.

She was born Elisabeth Yvonne Scatcherd on May 11th 1926 in Roubaix, France, to English parents who were living in France for work at the time. She had an older sister named Jeanne.

Her family returned to England before the outbreak of World War II and Yvonne studied modern languages at Oxford University, where she became fluent in English, French and Italian. Following her graduation she enrolled in London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), from which she graduated in 1951 at the age of 24.

She adopted her mother's maiden name, "Furneaux", as her professional name and appeared in a number of theatrical productions, including roles in Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew. In 1952 she made her first film appearances and the following year she came to public attention with roles in several high-profile productions, The Beggar's Opera starring Laurence Olivier and The Master of Ballantrae with Errol Flynn and scored her first leading role in The House of the Arrow.

She worked steadily, mostly in leading roles, for the next 18 years, predominantly in Italian or British productions, but also in films shot in France, Spain and Germany. She appeared in an eclectic selection of films including a number of bonafide art-house and cult classics, working with directors such as Fellini, Antonioni, Polanski, Chabrol, Dino Risi and Peter Brook. She also played leading roles in a number of peplum and historical films shot in Italy, earning her place as one of our "divas".

In 1961 she met Jacques Natteau, who was the cinematographer on her film Il conte di Montecristo and they were married the following year - they remained married until his death in 2007. The couple bought a castle in Poggio Catino, northeast of Rome, which they spent the next 5 years restoring. In 1969 she gave birth to a son, Nicholas, and 2 years later retired from the screen, presumably to raise her family.

She made a one-off "comeback" in 1984 in the horror-comedy Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie, which proved to be her final screen appearance.

At the time of writing Yvonne is still alive, aged 93, and was reported to be living in Lousanne, Switzerland as of 2005.

The bulk of her biographical details come from a biography on the Aenigma website and are corroborated by various other online sources.

Filmography
1953
  1. The Beggar's Opera ... Jenny Diver (credited)
  2. The Genie ... Suzie (poster credit - role unconfirmed)
  3. The House of the Arrow ... Betty Harlow (credited)
  4. The Master of Ballantrae ... Jessie Brown (credited)

    1954
  5. Il maestro di Don Giovanni ... Courtier (uncredited - uncertain identification)

    1955
  6. Cross Channel ... Jacqueline Moreau (poster credit - role unconfirmed)
  7. Il principe dalla maschera rossa ... Laura (credited)
  8. Le amiche ... Momina De Stefani (credited)
  9. The Scarlet Pimpernel (TV series) Ep. 1: "The Hostage" ... Suzanne De Fleury (credited)
  10. The Dark Avenger ... Marie (credited)

    1956
  11. Lisbon ... Maria Madalena Massenet (credited)

    1959
  12. Carta al cielo ... role? (poster credit)
  13. Lui, lei e il nonno ... Helen (credited)
  14. The Mummy ... Isobel Banning / Princess Ananka (credited)

    1960
  15. A noi piace freddo...! ... Rosalina (credited)
  16. Il carro armato dell'8 settembre ... role? (poster credit)
  17. La dolce vita ... Emma (credited)
  18. Via Margutta ... Marta (credited)

    1961
  19. Caccia all'uomo ... Maria (credited as "Yvonne Fourneaux")
  20. Il conte di Montecristo ... Mercédès (credited)

    1962
  21. I lancieri neri ... Jassa (credited)
  22. Il criminale ... Angela (credited)

    1963
  23. I 4 tassisti ... Corinna (credited)
  24. Io Semiramide ... Semiramide (credited)
  25. Le meurtrier ... Clara Saccard (credited)

    1964
  26. I raggi mortali del Dr. Mabuse ... Gilda Larsen (credited as "Yvonne Fourneaux")
  27. Il leone di Tebe ... Helen of Troy (credited)

    1965
  28. Danger Man (TV series) Season 2, ep. 3: "A Very Dangerous Game" ... Lisa Lee (credited)
  29. Repulsion ... Helen (credited)

    1966
  30. The Baron (TV series) Eps. 6, 7 ... Selina Travis (credited)

    1967
  31. Le scandale ... Christine Belling (credited)

    1971
  32. In nome del popolo italiano ... Lavinia Santenocito (credited)

    1972
  33. Versuchung im Sommerwind ... Claudia Bonhard (poster credit - role unconfirmed)

    1984
  34. Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie ... Matilda "Tillie" Frankenstein (credited)
Filmography to check
  • Affair in Monte Carlo (1952) IMDb as Henriette. I looked through this film but while the character of Henriette is mentioned I wasn't able to find Yvonne. Maybe someone else will have more luck. Also known as 24 Hours of a Woman's Life.
  • Meet Me Tonight (1952) IMDb as Elena, in the segment "Ways and Means".
  • Adventure Theater (1954 or 1956) Ep. 2: "The Javanese Dagger". IMDb as Vanessa, Tresall's 2nd wife.
  • The Three Princes (1954 TV movie) IMDb as Princess Yasmin.
  • Nom-de-Plume (1956 TV series) Ep. 6: "The Courtesan". IMDb as The Countess.
  • ITV Play of the Week (1957 TV series) Season 2, ep. 50: "The Tigress on the Hearth". IMDb as Kathi Lutterwell.
  • Hereward the Wake (1965 TV series) Eps. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. IMDb as Torfrida.
  • The Man Who Never Was (1966 TV series) Ep. 7: "A Little Ignorance". IMDb as Paula.
  • The Last of the Powerseekers (1969 TV movie) IMDb as Miss Rabier.
Last edited by Emiliano on 16/10/2021, 23:17, edited 14 times in total.

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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:17

The Beggar's Opera (1953) credited, as Jenny Diver
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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:24

The Genie (1953) credited on the lobby cards, as Suzie (role to be confirmed).

This would appear to be three episodes of a TV series entitled either Rheingold Theatre or Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Presents, which were edited together and released theatrically. The episode in which Yvonne appeared was also entitled "The Genie".
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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:28

The House of the Arrow (1953) credited, as Betty Harlowe.

This was Yvonne's first leading role in a film.
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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:31

The Master of Ballantrae (1953) credited, as Jessie Brown
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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:43

Il maestro di Don Giovanni (1954) as Courtier.

On the surface Yvonne's appearance in an uncredited bit part in this film would seem highly unlikely, however given that a) she had a connection to the film's star, Errol Flynn, having appeared with him in The Master of Ballantrae the previous year and b) she would very likely have been in Italy around the time this was filming for her Italian film debut in Il principe dalla maschera rossa, then her participation does not seem such a far-fetched possibility. IMDb very unhelpfully lists her as playing the role of "Woman", so at least we know she wasn't playing a man! While I didn't see anyone who I felt was obviously Yvonne, there are a few actresses who bear some resemblance to her, the most likely of which I thought was the one in the centre here. Since I am not at all sure about this one I'm putting it as an uncertain identification.
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Last edited by Emiliano on 09/10/2021, 10:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:49

Cross Channel (1955) credited on the poster and pictured on the lobby card, as Jacqueline Moreau (role to be confirmed).
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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 18:58

Il principe dalla maschera rossa (1955) credited, as Laura.

Discounting her possible appearance in Il maestro di Don Giovanni the previous year, this was Yvonne's first proper role in an Italian production. She had third billing behind Maria Fiore and Frank Latimore.
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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 19:06

Le amiche (1955) credited, as Momina De Stefani.

Her second appearance in an Italian production in 1955 was for director Michelangelo Antonioni. She was one of an ensemble cast, holding her own alongside Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti, Franco Fabrizi and Valentina Cortese.
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Last edited by PeplumParadise on 20/07/2021, 16:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Furneaux, Yvonne

Post by PeplumParadise » 15/06/2021, 19:09

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1955 TV series) Episode 1: "The Hostage", credited, as Suzanne De Fleury.
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