Actress Turning 80 Says Posing for Playboy Was Her Only Regret

By: Lauren Wurth | Published: Nov 17, 2023

Beloved French actress Catherine Deneuve turned 80 this year, and looking back on her life and professional career, she says she only has one regret.

The once-superstar was respected and loved around the world for her incredible talent, and Deneuve said that while she loved her life and the way she lived it, she does regret posing for Playboy.

Catherine Deneuve’s Background

Deneuve was one of the most famous actresses in the world during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

French actress Catherine Deneuve in the film Manon 70

Source: Jack Burlot/Apis/Sygma/Getty Images

She starred in several iconic films, made the front page of magazines, and even met Queen Elizabeth II.

No Desire to Be an Actress

The story goes that Deneuve never truly wanted to be an actress. However, her sister persuaded her to attend her first casting in 1956 when young Catherine was only thirteen years old.

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve on the set of the 1969 film La Sirene du Mississipi

Source: Les films du Carrosse/Les Productions Artistes Associés/Getty Images

The rest, as they say, is history. Deneuve continued acting for the next sixty-five years, even filming her most recent movie in 2019.

Living Life as if She Wasn’t Famous

Deneuve got her big break when she was twenty-one years old when the film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was released in 1964.

Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo share a laugh in a scene from the film 'The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg'

Source: Landau Releasing Organization/Getty Images

However, even after she became an international sensation, she says she continued to live her life how she wanted to—as if she wasn’t famous at all.

Catherine’s Life in Her Own Words

In a recent interview, she explained, “I never pretended anything, I did not create appearances. I lived as I wanted. If I really want something, nothing can stop me, and I whistle at what others will think.”

Actress Catherine Deneuve holds her son’s hand as they arrive at the Nice airport

Source: Getty Images

From spending time with her children to traveling around the world, Catherine wasn’t afraid of the paparazzi, she just didn’t care about them.

Getting Romantically Involved

Deneuve married David Bailey in 1965 after the two met during a photo shoot for Playboy magazine’s British edition.

Catherine Deneuve and husband David Bailey in London on their wedding day

Source: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Sadly, their relationship didn’t stand the test of time, and the two divorced only seven years later in 1972. And while Deneuve had several other partners over the years, she never lived with another man again.


Catherine’s Only Read Regret

Interestingly, the Playboy shoot where Catherine met her husband David is reportedly the only event in the star’s life she regrets.

Catherine Deneuve in her underwear posing for photographer

Source: Alamy

In fact, she said it clear as day: “posing for ‘Playboy’ is probably the only thing I regret in life.”


Her Real Reason for Remorse

The exact quote from Catherine’s interview has led some fans to question her exact meaning. Did she regret the shoot because she appeared nude or because she met David while shooting?

A line of Playboy-style 'bunny girls' in 1963

Source: Victor Blackman/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

She first said about the shoot, “I fell in love at first sight,” but went on to say, “But posing for ‘Playboy’ is probably the only thing I regret in life.”


No Stranger to Nudity

Another reason many people are wondering about the intent behind the comment is because the French film star was no stranger to nudity.

Catherine Deneuve on the set of film “Belle de Jour”

Source: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

In several of her films, such as Belle de Jour, the audience doesn’t see all of Ms. Deneuve, but they certainly see a lot.


A Long, Illustrious Career

No matter what Catherine’s intention was behind the comment, there is no doubt that she is immensely proud of the rest of her incredible career.

Movie poster for the 1967 film “Belle de Jour” with pictures of Catherine Deneuve

Source: Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images

In addition to her numerous beloved films, the star has also won several accolades for her performances, including the European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and the European Film Award for Best Actress in 2002.


Suffering a Recent Health Scare

Amazingly, Catherine is still acting, even at eighty years old. However, while on set for the French film De Son Vivant in 2019, the actress fainted and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Catherine Deneuve attends the "La Tete Haute” in Cannes, France

Source: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Doctors reported that the actress had a stroke, but luckily, because they were able to assist her so quickly, she recovered quickly and was even seen back on set a few months later.


The World Has No Regrets for Catherine Deneuve

Although Catherine may regret posing for Playboy all those years ago, the world has absolutely nothing negative to say about the incredible actress.

French actress Catherine Deneuve

Source: Tony Kent/Sygma/Getty Images

The amazing way in which she lived her life for herself, as well as her seriously impressive acting skills, will live on forever.