Leslie Caron is an award-winning actress and dancer who starred in some of the most memorable films of Hollywood’s golden age including An American in Paris and Gigi. Leslie was first cast away on Desert Island Discs in 1956 when she was 25, and her return, nearly 66 years later, marks the greatest gap between appearances in the programme's 80-year history. She was born in Paris in 1931 and started ballet lessons at 11 to please her mother, a dancer herself who had performed on Broadway. Her early childhood was marred by the war and growing up in occupied Paris, but when she was 16 she joined Roland Petit’s Ballets des Champs-Elysées which opened up a new world of possibility. A year later she was spotted during a performance by a member of the audience - Gene Kelly. He lobbied MGM to cast her as his leading lady in An American in Paris, which launched her Hollywood career. Leslie played the tile role in Gigi both on stage in London in a production directed by Peter Hall, who she married, and in the feature film directed by Vincente Minelli. The film won all nine of its nominations at the 1959 Academy Awards – a record at the time. Leslie went on to star in the L-Shaped Room and later played roles in the films Chocolat and Damage. In 2006 she won an Emmy Award for her part in the television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. More recently she was on our TV screens playing the Countess Mavrodaki in the drama series The Durrells. She was awarded the Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur in 2013 and the JF Kennedy Gold Medal in the Arts two years later. Leslie lives in London and describes herself as “almost retired.” DISC ONE: L’Accordeoniste by Édith Piaf DISC TWO: Sì, Mimì chiamano Mimi, composed by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Maria Callas and Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Tullio Serafin DISC THREE: Ne me quite pas by Jacques Brel DISC FOUR: Miss Otis Regrets by Ella Fitzgerald DISC FIVE: One for My Baby (from The Sky’s The Limit) by Fred Astaire DISC SIX: Requiem in D minor (Introitus: Requiem) Composed by Mozart, performed by Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Singverein, conducted by Herbert Von Karajan DISC SEVEN: Burn On by Randy Newman DISC EIGHT: Les Feuilles Mortes by Yves Montand BOOK CHOICE: The Sixth Sense of Animals by Maurice Burton LUXURY ITEM: A cutlass CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Sì, Mimì chiamano Mimi, composed by Giacomo Puccini, performed by Maria Callas and Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Tullio Serafin Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley
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