Factbox: Controversial actress Maria Schneider

PARIS Thu Feb 3, 2011 1:48pm EST

Actress Maria Schneider in a November 2000 photo. REUTERS/File

Actress Maria Schneider in a November 2000 photo.

Credit: Reuters/File

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PARIS (Reuters) - Maria Schneider, controversial actress and star of "Last Tango in Paris" died in Paris. She was 58.

Here are some facts about Schneider:

* LIFE DETAILS:

-- Schneider was born in March 1952 in Paris, daughter of actor Daniel Gelin and a Romanian-born French woman who ran a bookstore in Paris.

-- She began her film career around 1969 with uncredited appearances - Alain Delon gave her first big chance in "Madly" (1970/71) directed by Roger Kahane.

* LAST TANGO IN PARIS:

-- In 1972 she was selected by director Bernardo Bertolucci to star along side Marlon Brando in the controversial film "Last Tango in Paris." A young Parisian woman begins a sordid affair with a middle-aged American businessman (Brando) who specifies that relationship will be based only on sex.

-- After the release of Last Tango, an Italian court gave Bertolucci a two-month suspended jail sentence.

-- Schneider has said that her experience with the film and her treatment as a sex symbol rather than as a serious actress motivated her to never do films with nude scenes again.

* A DOWNTURN:

-- She starred in another Italian film "The Passenger" directed by Michelangelo Antonioni alongside Jack Nicholson. Schneider did agree to appear in nude in one long shot, but she continued to fear type-casting.

-- This "lost classic," made for MGM in 1975, did not appear on DVD until 2006 and was not seen much in any form since its theatrical release.

* LATER CAREER:

-- For Schneider, the 1970s were marked by scandal, drug addiction and a suicide attempt.

-- Her subsequent career consisted mostly of undistinguished, low-budget European films along the lines of "Memoirs of a French Whore" (1979) and "Mamma Dracula" (1980).

-- In 1992, Schneider appeared in the controversial French film "Les Nuits Fauve/Savage Nights."

-- She also played Mrs. Rochester in "Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" (1996) directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

-- She was featured as a woman who has faith in miracles in "Something to Believe In" (1998). Her most recent listed film is "Cliente" from 2008.

Sources: Reuters/The Film Encyclopaedia/IMDB/screenrush.co.uk

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;

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