Active - 1915 - 1921  |   Born - Feb 23, 1889   |   Died - Dec 11, 1957   |   Genres - Crime, Adventure

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Musidora was one of the greatest stars in French silent cinema. Not only did she create France's first big-screen vamp, the multi-talented actresss was also recognized as a a writer, painter, dancer, playwright, and filmmaker. During her reign as queen of the cinema, Musidora's closest friends included Germaine Dulac, Colette, Louis Delluc, and Marcel L'Herbier. Born Jeanne Roques, she wrote her first novel at 15. In film, she gained national recognition for her role as the sexy, black leotard-clad Irma Vep in Louis Feuillade's adventure serial Les Vampires (1915-1916) -- "Irma Vep" is an anagram for vampire. After that she was to perform similar roles throughout her career. She later founded her own production company. She began by adapting two of Colette's popular plays, Minnie and La Vagabonde, and one of Colette's screen plays, La Flamme cachee (1918); she then directed four films notable for her on-location settings, and experimental techniques. None of the films she directed were terribly popular. Her acting career ended with the advent of sound, but this did not stop her from writing. After 1946, she began working at the Cinematheque Fracaise. In 1951, she appeared in a short compilation film. In 1974, the first women's film festival in Paris was named after her.