Capucine (6 January 1928 – 17 March 1990) was a French fashion model and actress known for her comedic roles in The Pink Panther (1963) and What's New Pussycat? (1965). She appeared in 36 films and 17 television productions between 1948 and 1990.
Capucine was born Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre on 6 January 1928 in Saint-Raphaël, Var, France.She attended school in Saumur, France, and attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in foreign languages.
In 1945, at age 17, while riding in a carriage in Paris, Lefebvre was noticed by a commercial photographer. Adopting the name "Capucine" (French for nasturtium), she became a fashion model, working for fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior.
While modeling for Givenchy in Paris, Capucine met Audrey Hepburn and they remained close friends for the rest of Capucine's life.
In 1948, Capucine made her film debut in Jean Cocteau's The Eagle with Two Heads.
In 1957, film producer Charles K. Feldman spotted Capucine while she was modeling in New York City. He put her under contract at $150 a week and took her to Hollywood to learn English and study acting. For the next decade, Charles Feldman would be her main producer.
Her first English-speaking role was in the film Song Without End (1960), a biopic of Franz Liszt where Capucine played Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. And her most successful film was the comedy What's New Pussycat? (1965), which costarred Sellers and Peter O'Toole, and was filmed entirely in France.
After Charles Feldman´s death in May 1968, Capucine's film career never regained its former momentum, and she would begin acting in various TV series since early 1970s.
In 1950, Capucine married French actor Pierre Trabaud, but the marriage lasted only 8 months. Afterwards, she was romantically involved with Charles Feldman and then American actor William Holden. Both love affairs ended shortly and turned into life long friendship.
Capucine moved to Lausanne, Switzerland in 1962, and lived there for 28 years until the day of her death.
On 17 March 1990, at age 62, Capucine jumped to her death from her eighth-floor apartment, having reportedly suffered from illness and depression for some time.