Celebrities always draw attention of the public. And when they exit the stage, they are quickly forgotten. Who recalls celebrity couple of the 1960s, Schneider and Delon? They were the most beautiful couple of the time…
Romy Schneider (1938–1982) was a film actress born in Vienna who held German and French citizenship. She was only 17 when she played the title role in Sissi, a romantic movie about the young Bavarian princess that became the empress of Austria. The film was Schneider’s breakthrough, it turned the Austrian-born actress into an instant 1950s film diva.
Romy Schneider and Alain Delon first got together in 1958, while she was filming Christine in France and the next four years of their lives cemented a relationship that was to last for decades, long after her death in 1982.
Alain Delon was 23 at the time and relatively unknown in the movie circles, but after handing her a bouquet of roses, Schneider was quite interested. At first, she found him offensive and even ill-mannered. However, playing his on-screen lover softened her up in no time.
Soon after, the couple took a train ride to a new film festival in Brussels and love took hold of them. Delon invited Schneider to come stay with him in Paris. However, her mother was against the idea. Eventually, she demanded Delon make a legal commitment to Schneider before they leave for Paris.
While Delon enjoyed his status as a French sex symbol, Schneider was frustrated with rumors of his affairs. Magda Schneider in particular was worried about the mental and physical health of her daughter who suffered abuse from Delon on a regular basis.
By 1963, the star-crossed relationship ended. On returning to Paris after shooting The Process in Hollywood, Schneider found their apartment empty with a bouquet of black roses and a stark note from Delon as a welcoming present.
“Reason obliges me to say goodbye, we have lived our marriage before we get married, our work would take away any chance of survival … Do not be mistaken about the color of these flowers: they are not black roses. My heart,” he would write Paris Match.
They continued to work together in such films as La Piscine (The Swimming Pool, 1968), which revitalized her career, and The Assassination of Trotsky (1972).
In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017, Delon said that Romy Schneider was the greatest love of his life, “the first, the strongest, the most surprising, but also the saddest.” According to the magazine, he always keeps a picture of the actress on her deathbed inside the pocket of his jacket.