Six and a half years ago I was strolling along the rue de Rivoli, and just as I approached the main entrance of a large, swanky, gold-trimmed hotel (probably Le Meurice) Catherine Deneuve, flanked by a couple of security guards, walked out and got into a waiting limo.
The legendary actress was 69 at the time, and smoking a cigarette as she walked under the rue de Rivoli colonnade and onto the boulevard. I distinctly recall muttering to myself, “Wow…a woman of her age shouldn’t be smoking….she should’ve quit a long time ago.”
Because sooner or later cigarettes will catch up and take you down, if not with lung cancer then with a stroke. Lifelong smoker Joni Mitchell (who was born only a couple of weeks after Deneuve in the fall of ’43) was felled by a fairly serious stroke in ’15, and has yet to fully recover.
Earlier today it was reported that Deneuve is in a Paris hospital after suffering a “very limited” ischemic stroke. Such strokes are caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.
Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli and Elsa Keslassy report that Deneuve succumbed to the stroke “while filming a scene in a hospital in Gonesse, near Paris, for the movie De Son Vivant, which is being directed by Emmanuelle Bercot. Deneuve is now at the Salpetriere hospital, which specializes in treating strokes.”