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...some excellent articles

about the Works of Juliette Benzoni 

 

1959 - 1986

Catherine the television Series 1986

Article in one of France leading TV-Programms by Lise Genet

Three women for the longest TV Series on Television

Juliette Benzoni:
My Catherine on television ? It is at the same time both a great joy and revenge". Director Bernard Borderie( the Angélique films) made a movie about the student revolt of 1413 in Paris Olga Georges-Picot incarnated Catherine. Not only that the film was a failure, I could not recognize my story anmore. I wish Claudine Ancelot, who plays the role of
« Catherine », the same success as Corinne Touzet, who has been my « Marianne ».

Marion Sarraut :
Corinne Touzet and Claudine Ancelot are two discoveries of director Marion Sarraut. Marion spent two years of preparation in filming Catherine. A huge undertaking, she said. 200 performers, 1,500 costumes, 130 horses, countless extras, and all for a reasonable price... 15 months of filming, living side by side with th actors and technicians, affectionately around the young newcomers based on the story.

 
Article translated in 2010 from French by Linda

 

Catherine - the longest TV-Series ever made 1986

Translated from French to English by Linda, webmaster

This article had been in Juliette Benzoni's treasure box of Souvenirs. I had the great honour to receive it as a present the very first time we visited her in Saint-Mandé. As you can see the article has below on the left side a little stain. I have on purpose not erased it. A souvenir is a souvenir...

Catherine, il suffit d'un amour :

Television began filming the largest soap opera ever made in France: Catherine, One Love is Enough. 120 episodes, 24 hours of filming, nothing but the best! Antenne 2 and S.F.P are the two partners of this epic Serial, which will be filming for a year.
« Not even the Americans » do that, said a famous Comedian. The Cecil B. de Mille of this televised and hexagonal « Ben Hur » is called Marion Sarraut. The author’s name is Juliette Benzoni. Moreover, the script-writer is Jean Chatenet. A guarantee of success. « We do not change a winning team like the one of Marianne, a star for Napoleon Series.”

Catherine, this is Claudine Ancelot, a young actress of twenty-five years, still unknown to the viewers. It is she who throughout the one hundred and twenty episodes of this series, will live the exceptional adventures of Catherine Legoix, daughter of a Parisian goldsmith whose personal history is close to the History of France at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Love, passion, betrayal, vengeance, hatred and friendship, all ingredients united, so that Catherine finally finds the love of her life in 625 lines. In addition, that she herself enters history: the screenplay has foreseen that she meets Joan of Arc in Orléans!

I like to add that the script was a team-work of Jean Chatenet and Juliette Benzoni (this was left out in this article). Juliette had told me that she had loved to work together with Jean Chatenet. He had made her understand that not all situations invented by an author, can later on be added in a film. Juliette was very impressed by Monsieur Chatenet and said it was a wonderful experience to work with him.

 

Article translated in 2010 from French to English by Linda

 

History : A marvellous source of Inspiration 1985

Article in the Magazine Jours de France by V.D
Translated from French by Linda, webmaster

A fortune made with the Heroes of our History

'They ask me for a synopsis. I give then one. I am signing a contract. I go to work. At the two hundred and forty-seventh page, the editor called me: Peter Lazareff just bought your book to be published in form of a Cliffhanger. He wants a thousand pages in three months. Eight days after the publication of Catherine it is a shout of triumph.'

We see Juliette Benzoni at her home holding a German Blanvalet Edition of "Zwei Rosen die Eine" in her hands. On her lap there is the fifth book of the French Trevise edition of "Catherine, et le temps d'aimer.

On one of my many visits to my dear friend Juliette, she has signed for me the last page of this article.  LInda, webmaster.
 

 

About the filming of  Marianne  1983

Authors Note - Juliette Benzoni
Text translated from French  by Linda Compagnoni Walther

« The implementation and the filming of Marianne was a great joy for me and even a kind of revelation. The word is not exaggerated. Indeed, a previous experience at the Cinema – was rather bitter indeed! -
I have discovered that if an author wishes to see his work faithfully reproduced, he will have a greater chance of satisfaction with Television than with Cinema where, too often one comes across a screenwriter who, convinced of being able to do better than the author, betrays and disfigures without shame
». Juliette Benzoni 1983



The text we have here would have been long forgotten, if I had not discovered it in a magic box of Gérard Chambre. He played Jason Beaufort in Marianne, a star for Napoleon and had kept many souvenirs of that filming. (see his personal website www.gerardchambre-tribute.ch  (I am also the webmaster of his site). Gérard had been a great admirer of Juliette Benzoni and read many of her bestsellers. He is also the cousin of the late French author Myriam de Béarn.

On the photo below we see the ingenious director Dame Marion Sarraut, Corinne Touzet (Marianne) Claudine Touzet (Catherine) and our most favourite author the late Juliette Benzoni. I like to say again thank you to our dear friend the adorable Claudine who shared her personal photos with us. 

Juliette Benzoni « But this is my Marianne  » ! 1983

Article by Geneviève Verrier
Text translated from French to English by Linda and Frédérique

Marianne
the heroine of Juliette Benzoni on television - or how to film a serial of sixty daily episodes...

extract :
Corinne Touzet had been chosen amongst 50 actresses and interrogated by Henri Spade (number one producer at that time on French television) one and a half hour in front of Juliette Benzoni and Marion Sarraut. When Juliette saw Corinne Touzet the first time she called out:
« But this is my Marianne » ?

The beautiful Corinne Touzet, before Marianne, an unknown young actress, has had a very great success on television. She played for some seasons the leading role in a very succesfull police Series called "Femme d'honneur". Nowadays as beautiful as ever she appears regularily on theatre and on television.
 

 

Nuits de Rois Juliette Benzoni 1983

Article by A.C.S

The funny weddings of the Mighty of this World.
A little Anecdote to share :

This is one of Juliette Benzoni's personal articles which she kindly shared with us. On the first image we see Juliette sitting in own bed because the journalist wanted to picture her in her bed to illustrate the article ! The image on the right side shows an invitation from her Editor PLON on the occasion of the publication of her new book at that time NUITS DE ROIS, (Nights of Kings)

(The article is entirely in French)

 

A surprising Mariage 1982

Article in Confidences by Juliette Benzoni

The Wedding of Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg in 1982.
During her years working for Confidences, Juliette Benzoni wrote many splendid articles concerning Royalties.

For once I have chosen an article for personal sentimental reasons. The grandmother of Princess Marie-Astrid, was Queen Astrid of Belgium, who died in a tragic car accident (1936), in Switzerland. As a child, whenever we passed with the car on Küssnacht am Rigi, Lake Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) (at that time, a narrow winding road!) my heart went out to that beautiful young Queen, who died too young and so tragically.


(The article is entirely in French)

 

Juliette Benzoni at a Book fair in Paris 1978


On this souvenir photo, Juliette is at a book fair at the stand of « Livre de Poche » at the end of the 70’s. She was signing the complete Saga of her « Marianne Series for that publisher.

Juliette Benzoni was enthusiastically adored by her faithful readers, who bestowed her an unquestionable loyalty until her last days and beyond. She may have been little sought after by the Medias in France – yet Juliette had never been snubbed by her peers…! The authors had always considered her as one of theirs!

We see Juliette in excellent company, beside her we recognize « Maurice Druon », French Novelist and member of the Académie Française and author of the famous books « Les Rois Maudits ». A little further, in that line we see « Hervé Bazin », writer whose best-known novels covered semi-autobiographical topics of teenage rebellion and dysfunctional families. Adorable to see the smile on Juliette’s face while she shakes hand with that charming old man on the photo.


 

Love and History 1978

Meeting with Juliette Benzoni by Cécile Barthélemy
Article translated from French to English by Frédérique and Linda

A wonderful article found by my friend Frédérique. We agreed, this is one of the most personal and best interviews we ever read so far! We learn so much about the way Juliette Benzoni is writing a new book! We have translated the splendid article by Cécile Barthélémy. I confirm it was not easy, but we have so much enjoyed this, thinking of the millions of readers of Juliette, who cannot understand French! This is also the moment to repeat, that we are no English teachers. We do this out of passion for the cause - for Juliette Benzoni and her fans...

When this article was first published in 1978, the seventh book of Catherine was not yet finished and I could not resist adding that in the translation, Linda webmaster

 


 
The Alexander Dumas Trophy 1974


In 1973 Juliette Benzoni, received the Alexandre Dumas Prix which was an immense joy for our Juliette. In an article about the 200 years of Alexandre Dumas passing away she wrote:

«
I really believe that DUMAS has never left me. I
always carry with me one of those white little books of the Nelson collection, so well done and so practical ».  



It had been her own father who introduced Juliette to the world of Alexandre Dumas. A year after she received that precious Award, Juliette founded the Alexandre Dumas Trophy in 1974. She was also the president of that foundation. The prize was a Sword, an exact remake of the kind of weapon used in the XVII century ! It was distributed each year during a Gala Dinner offered by the founder (Juliette), by a Jury of 15 personalities renewed each year.
Juliette
was supported by the much acclaimed French Historian Alain Decaux (1925 - 2016) president of the Association des amis d'Alexandre Dumas.


Winners of the Trophy :

1974 - François CHAUMETTE - 1975 Jean MARAIS - 1976 Phlippe CLAY - 1977 Michel CRETON

Anecdote - Alain Decaux writing to Juliette Benzoni

« You are a great admirer of Alexandre Dumas. You see in him your master. You follow the same path like him : you help to make the French love their History ». Alain Decaux

Juliette Benzoni had yet again opened one of her numerous albums for us in 2009. Photos and articles which had not been seen for many years. She was such a generous person and was more than delighed to share with us.
 
1977 - Michel Creton - Trophée Alexandre Dumas

The fourth Alexander Dumas Trophy, founded by Juliette Benzoni, with the agreement of the Association of the friends of Dumas, was awarded to Michel Creton for his role Chicot, the King's jester, in the television Series La Dame de Monsoreau.



The mini Series had an enormous success not just in France but also in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. I do remember watching it many years ago ! For those who understand French, the DVD box can still be bought on Ebay ect.
 


1977
Alain Decaux
Michel Creton


1977
Michel Creton
Juliette Benzoni


1977
Michel Creton
Trophy Alexandre-Dumas

 
1976 - Philippe Clay - Trophée Alexandre Dumas

In 1976 it was Philippe Clay ( 1927 - 2007) to win the Trophy Alexandre Dumas. He was a very popular French Artist, Singer and Actor. For the Benzoni-Sarraut family he is best known for his role of Black Fish in the Marianne Series 1983. Barnaby of the Cockleshell in the Catherine Series 1985 (his role was extended and he does not die the way we know from the books of the Catherine Series) and Baron von Winkleried in The Lure of the Falcon.  He received the Award for his role of The Count of Monte Christo played at the théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
In all the interviews I was able to do since the beginning of this website, all of Philippe Clays former colleague's talked enthusiastically about him !
 


translated from French to English by Linda
 


1976
Invitation card
Trophy  Dumas


1976
Alain Decaux
Philippe Clay


François Chaumette
Philippe Clay
Alain Decaux


Juliette Benzoni
Alain Decaux
Gérald Gauthier


 
1975 - Jean Marais - Trophée Alexandre Dumas

In 1975 the world famous Jean MARAIS ( 1913 - 1998) French Actor, writer, Director and Sculptor received the Trophée Alexandre Dumas out of the hands of Alain Decaux,  for his interpretation of « Joseph Balsamo » and for « The Count of Monte Christo ».



Jean Marais played in many very succesful historical adventures movies. (see : Jean Cocteau's The Beauty and the Beast) Should you ever have the possibilty to watch him on television, do not miss the chance ! he belonged also to those actors who did his stunts by himself ! I remember seeing this two-part mini Series also when it premiered - my sister and I could not wait for the the next evening when we would learn of Edmund Dantes REVENGE !

 

translated from French to English by Linda
 


1975
Jean Marais
Meilleur interprete
Trophée Alexandre


1975
Jean Marais
Juliette Benzoni
Alain Decaux


1975
Jean Marais
Juliette Benzoni
et les fans


1975
Jean Marais
Juliette Benzoni
et les fans

1974 - François Chaumette : Trophée Alexandre Dumas

The winner of the first Trophée Alexandre Dumas was François Chaumette (1923 - 1996) for his interpretation of Athos in the 1969 television Series D'Artagnan. He played in many films and on stage and was a member of the Académie-Française. In the following years 1975 - 1977 he was also in the Jury for choosing the next winner of the Alexander Dumas Trophy.
Philippe Chaumette had a remarkable voice and the French audience (maybe unknown to them !)He was the voice of Dark Vador in the first Star Wars episodes! He gave his voice also to Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek 2 !


François Chaumette alias Athos

On the article below we see Alain Decaux congratulate François Chaumette.


translated from French to English by Linda
On the photos we recognize Juliette Benzoni, founder and president of the Trophy Alexandre Dumas. French actor Jean Piat (Les Rois Maudites. Lagardaire...) Alain Decaux president of the Association des amis d'Alexandre Dumas and also Gérald Gauthier, General Secretary of the Press Agency of Opéra Mundi, THE man who is responsible that the Catherine Series was born ! 


1974
Juliette Benzoni - Jean Piat


1974
Alain Decaux - Jean Piat


1974
Alain Decaux - Jean Piat


1974
François Chaumette

 
N E W  B O O K S  Belle Catherine 1966

Original document of the First UK Edition 1966. London 1966.

Introducing Belle Catherine by publisher William Heinemann Ltd.


I stumbled per chance on this rare treasure ! My very first announcement of a Catherine book in England by the company William Heinemann Ltd. Great was my surprise when I opened this book to find such a precious announcement way back from 1966. My guess is that the Press and bookstores received each such a precious flyer in 1966.
The information is not just about the new book at that time, but also a short Biography of Juliette Benzoni. I invite you to click on the image below to read this rare document.

 

Le Prix Alexandre Dumas 1973

Article in Le Monde

Echos et Nouvelles
The Alexandre Dumas prix was awarded to Juliette Benzoni for the ensemble of her works.
Little did the Jury know in 1973, that Juliette would write eighty-six books, the last of her books Le Vol du Sancy (the 15th adventure of Prince Aldo Morosini) was published two weeks before she left us on February 7, 2016 !


 

Juliette Benzoni at Editions Trévise 1963


Photo showing Juliette Benzoni signing the first time CATHERINE at Opera Mundi



Juliette Benzoni signing the first time Catherine, il suffit d'un amour in Paris

We see Juliette Benzoni at the office of Opéra Mundi, while she is signing the very first time CATHERINE Novel. As we can see on the photo there was quite a lot of work to be done for Juliette. Just have a look at the bookshelves in the background ! All Catherine Catherine Catherine

The gentleman on the left side of Juliette was Paul Winkler. He founded 1957 together with Gérald Gauthier Editons Trévise.


 

TELE 7 JOURS  1962

TELE 7 JOURS annouces :

IL SUFFIT D'UN AMOUR (ONE LOVE IS ENOUGH) by Juliette Benzoni
in French Newspaper France-soir



TELE 7 JOURS publicity of Juliette Benzoni's first roman IL SUFFIT D'UN AMOUR which was published in France-soir each day as we can see on this exclusive document.
 
It was in Juliette Benzoni's personal Souvenir box and shared with this webmaster here. It is so far the earliest advertisement which dates back to the time the Novel was published as Cliffhanger in the French newspaper France-Soir and not yet available in the book stores.

 

L'Histoire pour tous 1960

History for all of us...
Texts translated from French to English by Linda, webmaster

The sublime gift shared with us by Grégory Berthier-Gabrièle,
editorial director, assistant at Editions PLON.
It shows Juliette Benzoni's very first work, published in September 1960 in L'Histoire pour tous, a prestigious  magazine, directed by Alain Decaux , 54 years ago !

In the Archives of Editions PLON...
The television viewers know Juliette Benzoni well, she showed, at the Gros lot (Jackpot) such a remarkable science on the Italian Renaissance. Juliette Benzoni will regularly collaborate in L’Histoire pour tous.  Here is her  first account, or love and death so dramatically imbricated... The tragic story of Struensee and Queen Caroline Mathilde.

On the small photo we see Juliette Benzoni at the Quiz show GROS LOT in 1959 ! It was there she was spotted by her own boss, who had watched the Quiz show on television. The next day he came into her office and asked her if she could write a story in the likes of Angélique! The rest is history...

 
Le gros Lot 1959

Juliette Benzoni the very first time on French television in 1959 !

Le Gros Lot - Cultural Game in Association with the National Lottery 1957
Very popular show presented by Pierre Sabbagh, who was a major personality on French television. He invented and presented the very first television journal in 1949.



Juliette told us that she stumbled on the second last question - but would have known the answer for the last one ! Yet Juliette was perceived by the director of the Press Agency of Opera Mundi, Gérald Gauthier (and not just him, but also noted Alain Decaux !)

The next day he came into her office and asked her if she could write for them a story similar like that of Angélique by Anne Golon, who had a huge success for Editions Trévise ! And so the incrediable career of Juliette Benzoni was launched. Her first work "Les Reines tragiques" was published as Cliffhanger in the newspaper "France Soir...
... and that is how the beautiful story of the Catherine Series began...




On this photo we see Juliette Benzoni and Pierre Sabbagh in Le Lot Gros 1959. An exceptional souvenir Juliette Benzoni shared with us.

Extract of Alain Decaux's Foreword  in Par le Fer ou le Poison (Editons Trévise 1973)

Dear Juliette Benzoni,
It was enough to turn a knob one evening to make your acquaintance. It is true that it was on television, where you confronted the formidable questions of Pierre Sabbagh, and moreover triumphed with an ease that left me amazed. It was the Italian Renaissance, and no Frenchman or Frenchwoman in the world, I am sure, shows so much science on this exalting but difficult subject. (..)


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