Born Jacqueline Fraser, in Weybridge, England, onetime model Jacqueline Bisset was vaulted into stardom on the strength of two 1967 films: In the over-produced spy spoof Casino Royale, she attracted attention as the alluring Giovanni Goodthighs; even more impressive (so far as critics were concerned) was her near-microscopic role in Stanley Donen's Two for the Road, in which Bisset plays the vacationing British schoolgirl whose sudden case of the measles makes the rest of the plot possible. (She reprised and expanded upon this bit in a film-within-a-film in François Truffaut's Day for Night in 1973.) First cast on the basis of her looks alone, Bisset later developed into a top-notch actress, as evidenced by her performances in The Grasshopper (1969) and The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1972). She came to so despise her earlier sexpot image that she insisted that no still photos of her wet T-shirt scenes in The Deep (1977) be reproduced for publication. That year, Newsweek magazine voted her "the most beautiful film actress of all time." In 1978, she played another famous Jackie (although not so named) in The Greek Tycoon, an à clef version of the Aristotle Onassis saga. A more mature but no less dazzlingly beautiful Bisset was later seen in a kinky secondary role in Zalman King's Wild Orchid (1990). The actress received critical acclaim in 2001 for her portrayal of a dying woman's search for the daughter she never knew in Christopher Munch's drama The Sleepy Time Gal. She continued to work steadily in a variety of projects including playing Jacqueline Kennedy in American's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story, Domino, Death in Love, and An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, as well as appearing on the TV series Nip/Tuck.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- At age 15, she began caring for her French mother who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
- Modeled to pay for acting lessons.
- Was nominated for a César Award—France's equivalent of the Oscar—for her work in 1996's La Cérémonie.
- Was honored with the CineMerit Award at the Munich Film Festival in 2001.
- Awarded France's Legion of Honor from President Nicolas Sarkozy in September 2010.
- Became a spokesperson for Avon's line of products targeted for women over 60 in 2010.