Maria Schneider Fan Site

Welcome To My Tribute To French Actress Maria Schneider!

Filmography and Biography of Maria Schneider

French actress Maria Schneider, probably best known for her role in the 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris", appeared in over fifty cinematic and television productions. This site is dedicated to honoring her craft which spanned more than forty years.  Ms. Schneider passed away on February 3rd, 2011 at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer and this site is dedicated to her memory. This is, unfortunately, not a complete filmography; it only contains those works that I have been able to find either on DVD or VHS. Click on the titles on the left for more information and still shots from the movies. I would like to express a special thanks to Catherine Mucci-Berthet and Mansoor for their contributions and assistance. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated.


Maria Schneider was born on March 27, 1952, the daughter of French actor Daniel Gelin and Romanian born Maria-Christine Schneider. Gelin denied that he was the father, so Maria was raised by her mother in eastern France close to the German border. Originally studying Greek and Latin, she left home at 16 following an argument with her mother. First trying her hand at modeling and acting, Maria was finally discovered by Brigitte Bardot, where she had appeared as an extra in the filming of Les Femmes. After appearing in several French films such as Les Jambes en L'Air, Helle, and Madly, Maria's international breakthrough came playing opposite to Marlon Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris in 1972. Although only 19 years of age, she appeared in full frontal nudity, which was very controversial for the time, and the film gained substantial notoriety following an improvised rape scene which had been orchestrated by Brando. Thrust into the limelight at a very young age, Ms. Schneider fell into life in the fast lane. She began to struggle with drug addictions, including heroin, but still managed to be cast in Michelangelo Antonioni's classic The Passenger with Jack Nicholson, her last notable film for some time. Following that, her career began to slide downhill, and she was tagged as unreliable; walking off the set of Caligula, which she viewed as pornography, and fired from Bunel's Cet Obscur Objet du Desir and Joseph Losey's Les Routes Du Sud. During the filming of Cari Genitori (Dear Parents) Maria became involved romantically with American heiress Joan "Joey" Townsend, and became the object of further scandal when she followed her lover into an Italian mental institution.  Unfortunately, Maria also turned down the role of Mary in Zeffirelli's beautiful Jesus of Nazareth, a decision which she later regretted.  In 1979 Maria starred in  Een Vrouw Als Eva which has been credited as one of the first films to portray lesbian relationships in a positive light. She was nominated for a Cesar for her supporting role in La Derobade in 1979, a strong film about prostitution. Openly bisexual, she was later romantically linked with Italian actress Stefania Sandrelli during the filming of the feminist Io Sono Mia. In the early 1980s Ms. Schneider became involved in a relationship with Maria Pia Almadio, whom she credited as helping her overcome her drug addiction and getting her life back on track. She called Pia her "angel" and kept her private life out of magazines and newspapers for decades. Maria would remain with Pia until the end of her life. Now clean and sober, Maria Schneider appeared in close to 50 films over her career. She was active in The Wheel Turns, an organization which helps aging French actors. In 2001 Maria was honored at the Creteil Films de Femmes International Film Festival as well as receiving honors in Italy for her work in Last Tango. Finally, in June 2010, Maria was awarded the Ordres de la Legion d'honneur et des Arts et Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in recognition of her works in cinema. She died of cancer the following year.
Following a funeral service at Saint-Roch Church in Paris on February 10, 2011 which was attended by Alain Delon and other notable French actors, Maria Schneider was cremated at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and her ashes sprinkled into the sea at the base of Rocher de la Verge in Biarritz, France.
I created this page in memory of a very beautiful and intelligent actress.