about the Works of
Catherine the television Series
Article in one of
France leading TV-Programms by
Three women for the longest TV Series on
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«
the same success as Corinne Touzet, who
has been my
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.
in 2010 from French by Linda
Catherine - the longest TV-Series ever made
from French to English by Linda,
This article had been in Juliette Benzoni's
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.
not change a winning team like the one of
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 text below).
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
in 2010 from French to English by Linda
History : A marvellous source of Inspiration
Article in the Magazine Jours de France by
from French by Linda, webmaster
A fortune made with the Heroes of our History
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,
But this is my Marianne
beautiful Corinne Touzet, before Marianne,
Nuits de Rois Juliette Benzoni 1983
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)
A surprising Mariage 1982
The Wedding of Princess Marie-Astrid of
Luxembourg in 1982.
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,
Lucerne) (at that time, a narrow winding road!) my heart
went out to that beautiful young Queen, who died
Juliette Benzoni at a Book fair in Paris
On this souvenir photo, Juliette
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
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
The Alexander Dumas Trophy
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:
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
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.
was supported by the much acclaimed French
(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
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 Dumass
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
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
The Lure of the Falcon.
He received the Award for his role of The
Count of Monte Christo played at the théâtre des
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 !
French to English by Linda
1975 - Jean Marais - Trophée Alexandre Dumas
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
Count of Monte Christo
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 !
French to English by Linda
et les fans
et les fans
1974 - François Chaumette : Trophée Alexandre Dumas
The winner of the first
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.
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.
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, president of Opéra Mundi,
THE man who is responsible that the Catherine Series was
Juliette Benzoni - Jean Piat
Alain Decaux - Jean Piat
Alain Decaux - Jean Piat
N E W B O O K S
Original document of the First UK Edition 1966.
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
Article in Le Monde
Echos et Nouvelles
The Alexandre Dumas prize 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 !
L'Histoire pour tous 1960
History for all of us...
Texts translated from French to English by
The sublime gift shared with us by Grégory
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...
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.
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, Paul Winkler (and not just
him, as we know, noted Alain Decaux
watched her andso did her chef Gérarld
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
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
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.
- 2017 Linda Compagnoni 2017