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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 14:09 GMT
French actress Simone Simon dies
James Stewart and Simone Simon
Simon starred opposite US actor James Stewart in Seventh Heaven
Simone Simon, the French actress who starred in 1942 horror film The Cat People, has died in Paris aged 93.

Born in Marseille, Simon began her career as a model before coming to the attention of Hollywood studio head Darryl Zanuck.

She was given a contract that saw her act in 11 US movies, including 1937's Seventh Heaven opposite James Stewart.

After the acclaimed Cat People she returned to France to star in famed director Jean Renoir's La Bete Humaine.

International star

Her triangular, almost feline face helped Simon make an impression early in her career but her Hollywood progress was hampered by appearances in unremarkable films.

Disenchanted with Hollywood in general and film studio 20th Century Fox in particular, she returned to France to be re-established as an international star in La Bete Humaine in 1938.

World War Two brought Simon back to the US in the 1940s, where she starred in a series of horror films including All That Money Can Buy, Cat People and its sequel The Curse of the Cat People.

Simon made a handful of films in France in the 1950s before retiring in 1956.

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