French actress and last surviving Casablanca star dies in Spain

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LeBeau played Rick Blaine’s jilted lover in Casablanca.

FRENCH actress Madeleine LeBeau, widely believed to be the last surviving credited cast member of the classic 1942 wartime drama Casablanca, has died aged 92.

She passed away in Estepona, where she lived, on May 1 following complications arising from a thigh bone fracture.

Although she was not one of the principal stars of the movie, which also starred Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, LeBeau’s character Yvonne is remembered for her passionate singing of French national anthem ‘Le Marseillaise’ during one of the film’s more pivotal scenes, as patrons of Rick’s cafe Américain attempt to drown out a group of singing German soldiers.

As the song draws to a close, LeBeau, her face wet with tears, shouts “Vive la France!”

LeBeau was born in the southern suburbs of Paris in 1923, appearing on screen in the 1939 French film, Girls in Distress. 

By the following year, she fled to the United States, escaping the Nazi invasion with her husband, actor Marcel Dalio, via Spain, Portugal and Mexico.

There, the actress received a contract with Warner Bros, appearing in films like Hold Back the Dawn and Gentleman Jim, starring Errol Flynn.

After the war she returned to Europe and continued her career as an actress, appearing in an additional 20, mostly French, movies.

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