Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having been the lover of a German official during the ocupation of France. In 1963 she had an accident which left her almost blind. Her most important movies were filmed and directed by Marcel Carné ("Hotel du Nord (1938)" or "Enfants du Paradis, Les (1945)").
In 1963 she had an accident which left her almost blind
" Once her work restriction lifted, however, she did return to the screen, notably in Portrait d'un assassin (1949), Huis-clos (1954) and L'air de Paris (1954) and also acted on stage before blindness forced her to retire in the early Sixties
She was not invited to the premiere of 'Les enfants du paradis' in March 1945 which led French critique 'Jean Sadoul' to write: "Arletty bid farewell to the screen with the best role of her career
In December 1944, she was put under house arrest for another two years and condemned to three years work suspension
She made her music-hall debut in 1918 and continued to appear on the stage until the early 1930's
In 1914 a man she loved died on the third day of war and the future actress swore she'd never get married "not to become a war widow or, what would be worse, the mother of a soldier