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This Day in WWII 21 April 1941 - 1945


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1024.jpg?md=1335002527000 Philco Ad - April 1943

1941: The Greek Army surrenders to the 1st SS Leibstandarte Division. Its commander, Sepp Dietrich accepts this, without referring to his superiors. All Greek soldiers were allowed to return home, while officers were allowed to retain their side arms. Mussolini, upon hearing of this is furious and makes the Greeks sign another surrender document with much harsher terms.

1024.jpg?md=1335002502000 *Michèle Morgan

1942: The first U-boat tanker or ' Milch cow', U-459, sets sail for the Atlantic. Her role was to prolong the time that U-boats could spend in US waters by refueling and re-arming them at sea.

1024.jpg?md=1335002507000 Michèle Morgan

1945: The U.S. Ninth Army captures Blankenburg, 80 miles to the East of Kassel. The U.S. First Army take Dessau. The French First Army captures Stuttgart along with 28,000 prisoners and crosses the Danube.

1945: Field Marshal Model, commits suicide. German troops keep up their resistance around Elbingerode in the Harz Mountains.

1024.jpg?md=1335002512000 Michèle Morgan

1945: The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front captures Bautzen and Cottbus 70 miles southeast of Berlin. German troops still hold out in the port of Pillau.

1945: The 2nd Polish Corps which is fighting with the British Eighth Army captures Bologna in co-ordination with the U.S. 34th Division, of the U.S. Fifth Army.

1945: U.S. troops take 'Bloody Ridge' on Okinawa.

1024.jpg?md=1335002517000 Michèle Morgan

*Morgan was born Simone Renée Roussel on February 29th, 1920 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, a western suburb of Paris.

She left home at the age of 15 for Paris determined to become an actress. She took acting lessons from René Simon while serving as an extra in several films to pay for her drama classes. Her beauty was noticed by director Marc Allégret who offered her a major role in the film Gribouille in 1937, opposite Raimu. Then came the film Le Quai des brumes by Marcel Carné in 1938, opposite the great French actor Jean Gabin, and Remorques in 1941. These two films established her as one of the leading actress of the time in french cinema.

Upon the invasion of France in 1940 by the Germans, Morgan left for the United States and Hollywood where she was contracted to RKO Pictures. Her career there proved rather disappointing, apart from "Joan of Paris" opposite Paul Henreid in 1942, "Higher and Higher" opposite Frank Sinatra in 1943. She was tested and strongly considered for the female lead in "Casablanca" but RKO would not release her for the amount of money that Warner Bros. offered. Morgan did work for Warners in "Passage to Marseille" opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1944. Nothing major came her way.

The war over, Morgan returned to France and quickly picked up her career with the 1946 film, "La Symphonie Pastorale" by Jean Delannoy, which earned her the "Best Actress" award at the Cannes Film Festival. Other notable films include "Fabiola" (1949), "The Proud and the Beautiful" (1953) by Yves Allégret, "Les Grandes Manœuvres" (1955) by René Clair, "Marie-Antoinette reine de France" (1956).

Morgan continued working in films throughout the 1960s, notably in "Lost Command", a 1966 film version of "Les Centurions". In the 1970s, she largely retired from the acting career, then made occasional appearances on film, television and theatre.

1024.jpg?md=1335002522000 Michèle Morgan

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Morgan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1645 Vine Street. In 1969, the government of France awarded her the Legion of Honor. For her long service to the French motion picture industry, in 1992 she was given an Honorary César Award. In 1996, she also received the Career Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival.

Morgan achieved the most popularity in french cinema during the 1940s and 1950s, although she is mostly unknown outside of France. She published her autobiography entitled Avec ces yeux-là in 1977.

She also paints and has done ever since the 1960s. She has a fetish for painting fish because it is her zodiac sign. While others were on the barricades in May 1968, she was painting abstract objects. She accepted to do an exhibition at the Paris Gallery "Artistes En Lumière à Paris" from 2 March until the end of April 2009.

While in Hollywood, she married actor William Marshall in 1942 with whom she had a son, Mike Marshall (1944–2005). Morgan and Marshall divorced in 1948. She married in 1950 French actor Henri Vidal (1919–1959) with whom she remained until his unexpected early death in 1959. She then lived with film director and actor/writer Gérard Oury until his death in 2006. Morgan has six grandchildren, including Sarah Marshall, a French model & actress (1981–).

TRIVIA:

While in Hollywood during WWII, Morgan built the house at 10050 Cielo Drive, the site of Sharon Tate's murder by the followers of Charles Manson in 1969. By that time, Morgan was no longer the owner of the house.

Her son Mike Marshall, born in 1944, became an actor in both France and Hollywood. He died on June 1st, 2005 (lung disease).

1024.jpg?md=1335002497000 Florida Citrus Commission Ad - April 1944

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