Jacqueline Bisset has undertaken a diverse range of dramatic and comedic challenges in the more than 50 films in which she has appeared, moving easily from stage to screen in the United States as well as in Europe, where she is equally at home performing in both English and French. Her emergence as one of the international film world’s most lustrous stars has landed her on the covers of both Newsweek and People.
Two powerful recent evidences of Bisset’s continuing prominence, talent and beauty are French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s presentation to her of his country’s greatest honor, The Legion D’Honneur, and Avon’s basing its international exposure of its lauded new skin products, Anew Platinum, on the beauty and fascination of Jacqueline Bisset.
Born Jacqueline Fraser-Bisset in Weybridge, Surrey, England, her father was a Scottish doctor and her French mother a lawyer. Modeling assignments led to small parts in features, such as Richard Lester’s “The Knack,” “Arividerchi Baby,” and a featured role in Roman Polanski’s “Cul-De-Sac.”
It was the 1967 James Bond spoof “Casino Royal” that won Bisset a long-term contract at 20th Century Fox. An impressive list of films followed in short order, including Stanley Donen’s “Two For the Road,” “The Sweet Ride,” a role opposite Frank Sinatra in “The Detective” and “Bullit,” opposite Steve McQueen. In 1970, she was one of the stars of “Airport,” Universal’s highest-grossing film at the time. On foreign soil, Bisset has appeared in Francois Truffaut’s classic “Day For Night” and such other notable French films as “Le Magnifique,” “Sunday Woman,” a French-Italian production with Marcello Mastroianni and Jean Louis Trintignant, the Italian “Together?” with Maximillian Schell and Terrance Stamp and Schell’s “End Of The Game” with Jon Voight and Robert Shaw. In 1977, Bisset starred with Nick Nolte and Shaw in the box office hit, “The Deep.”
Other roles which added to her international stardom included “The Thief Who Came to Dinner,” “The Greek Tycoon,” in which she teamed with Anthony Quinn in a pairing reminiscent of Jacqueline Kennedy and Aristotle Onasis, and Sydney Lumet’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Her work in 1984’s “Under the Volcano,” John Huston’s adaptation of the modern classic Malcom Lowry novel, brought Bisset some of the most laudatory reviews of her career, in addition to a Golden Globe nomination for Best Dramatic Actress.
In addition to these accomplishments in drama, Bisset proved her comedic talents in a number of well-admired films of the genre, among them “Scenes From a Class Struggle in Beverly Hills,” “The Maid,” “High Season” and “Someone Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe.” She will soon be seen on the big screen in Linda Yellen’s “The Last Film Festival,” a hilarious feature comedy that reveals all the backstage politics and insane antics behind the lowliest of film festivals.
One of her recent films, “Death In Love,” directed by Boaz Yakim (“Remember The Titans”), resonated at numerous festivals. Adding to her accolades, in 2007, the prestigious Chicago Film Festival presented Bisset with its Career Achievement Award.
On television, Bisset starred in CBS’s “Anna Karenina,” NBC’s “In the Beginning,” playing Sarah opposite Martin Landau’s Abraham, as Mary, mother of Jesus, in “Jesus,” in CBS’s “Joan of Arc” and Lifetime’s “Sex and Mrs. X,” among many other roles. Recently, she has appeared on F/X’s “Nip/Tuck” and starred in Lifetime’s production of the Nora Roberts book, “Carolina Moon.”
Based in Los Angeles, Bisset divides her time between America and Europe.