- Birth name:
- Winnifred Jacqueline Fraser-Bisset
- Date of Birth:
- 13 September 1944 Weybridge, Surrey, England, UK
- 5' 6½" (1.69 m)
Jacqueline Bisset has been an international film star since the late 1960s. She received her first roles mainly because of her stunning beauty, but over time she has become a fine actress respected by fans and critics alike.Her somewhat French-sounding name has led many to assume that she is from France, but she was brought up in England and had to study to learn French. Her mother is French and was an attorney before being married. As a child Jacqueline studied ballet. During her teenage years her father left the family when her mother was diagnosed with disseminating sclerosis; Jacqueline worked as a model to support her ailing mother and eventually her parents divorced, an experience she has said she considered character-strengthening. She took an early interest in film, and her modeling career helped pay for acting lessons.Two years after her film debut, Bisset gained attention for her role in Two for the Road (1967) with Audrey Hepburn, and in that same year appeared in the popular James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967), playing Miss Goodthighs. In 1968 her career got a boost when Mia Farrow unexpectedly dropped out of the shooting of The Detective (1968); Farrow's marriage to co-star Frank Sinatra was on the rocks, and her role was eventually given to Bisset, who received special billing in the film's credits. Her breakout role was as Steve McQueen's girlfriend in the classic action film Bullitt (1968). In the popular "disaster film" Airport (1970), Bisset played a pregnant stewardess carrying Dean Martin's love child, and she also had a memorable scene slapping Helen Hayes. Although these films were very successful at the box office, Jacqueline found such "window dressing" parts unsatisfying, and she searched for more compelling material. She became recognized in Europe as a serious actress when she played the lead in the French film "Day for Night" (La nuit américaine (1973)). However, it would be several years before her talents would be taken seriously in the US. The following year she appeared in the hit film Murder on the Orient Express (1974) with an ensemble cast.Jacqueline's stunning looks and figure made quite a splash in The Deep (1977). Her underwater swimming scenes in that movie inspired the worldwide wet T-shirt craze, and Newsweek magazine declared her "the most beautiful film actress of all time". However, she hated the wet T-shirt scenes because she felt exploited. At the time of filming she was not told that the filmmakers would shoot the scenes in such a provocative way, and she felt tricked.She received critical acclaim for her performance in Rich and Famous (1981) opposite Candice Bergen. She made another memorable appearance in Class (1983), starring opposite "Brat Pack" members Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. Jacqueline has received four Golden Globe nominations between 1969 and 2000, for her performances in The Sweet Ride (1968), Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), Under the Volcano (1984), and Joan of Arc (1999) (TV). She was also nominated for a César award, the French equivalent of the Oscar, for her role in La cérémonie (1995).Bisset has worked with such directors as John Huston, François Truffaut, and Roman Polanski and co-starred with actors of the caliber of Sean Connery, Paul Newman, Anthony Perkins, Albert Finney, Mickey Rourke, Anthony Quinn, Nick Nolte, William Holden, Charles Bronson, Linda Hamilton, Ingrid Bergman, Meg Ryan, Leelee Sobieski, Shirley MacLaine and Naomi Watts.She made a successful transition from leading lady to character actress. Her notable productions include the Biblical epics Jesus (1999) (TV) and In the Beginning (2000) (TV). She also played Keira Knightley's mother in the action movie Domino (2005), and in 2006 Jacqueline had a recurring role in the fourth season of "Nip/Tuck" (2003). She made an appearance in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) with her goddaughter, Angelina Jolie, but her scenes were cut from the theatrical release.Jacqueline has never married, although she has had lengthy romances with Canadian actor Michael Sarrazin, mogul Victor Drai, Russian actor Alexander Godunov, French actor Vincent Perez, and martial arts instructor Emin Boztepe. She continues to make numerous appearances in movies and television and frequently participates in film festivals and award ceremonies around the world.