After years of blacklisting during the McCarthy era, she was thirty-eight years old when she entered Hollywood through the back door in the 1959 British blockbuster Room at the Top. And her portrayal of the endearing Alice Aisgill earned her the Academy Award in 1960—the first French actor to win the coveted award.
Though a latecomer to Hollywood, Signoret was already an international star who had survived the Nazi occupation of Paris, emerging in 1945 as a beautiful, promising actress capable of communicating more emotion though body language than dialogue alone could achieve. She gained a reputation as the thinking man's sex symbol, and in several films she portrayed prostitutes with subtlety and depth.
Throughout the book, DeMaio combines Signoret’s courageous story with Montand’s biography to reveal new information and insight into her humanitarian efforts and the vibrant film career that sustained her.
Published earlier this year as part of UPM’s Hollywood Legend Series, DeMaio’s biography received a starred review in the March 15 issue of Library Journal. Reviewer Carol J. Binkowski said of the book:
This is an exceptionally perceptive work, supported by solid research and thoughtful commentary and set in a relevant cultural/historical context. Summary discussions of the actress’s films enhance rather than dominate the narrative, and comprehensive notes, filmography, bibliography, and photographs complement the text
Recently author Patricia A. DeMaio was a guest on CT Style where she discussed here book and Signoret’s life.