‘Les Liaisons dangereuses’ actress Annette Stroyberg a.k.a. Annette Vadim remembered
Danish-born actress and socialite Annette Stroyberg a.k.a. Annette Vadim, best known for having married director Roger Vadim and for playing one of the leads in his Les Liaisons dangereuses, died at age 69 on Dec. 12 in Copenhagen.
Born on Dec. 7, 1936 (or, depending on the source, Dec. 12, 1934), in Rynkeby, a small town on the Danish island of Fyn, Annette Stroyberg began working as a model, later getting featured in a handful of movies from 1959 to 1965. Most notable among these was her role as the innocent victim of connivers Jeanne Moreau and Gérard Philipe in Vadim’s modernized version of Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses (1959).
In the movie, Stroyberg was billed as Annette Vadim; her marriage had taken place in mid-1958, about six months after Roger Vadim’s divorce from Brigitte Bardot. Unlike Bardot, however, Annette Vadim/Stroyberg was never to become a full-fledged film star. The couple were divorced in 1960.
Annette Stroyberg movies
Among her other film roles – whether as Annette Vadim or Annette Stroyberg – are those in the following:
- Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses / Et mourir de plaisir (lit., “To Die of Pleasure,” 1960), as a Brigitte Bardot-ish vampire who makes out with Elsa Martinelli before gulping down her blood – a bit slightly reminiscent to what takes place between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in Tony Scott’s 1983 cult classic The Hunger.
- Roberto Rossellini’s New Wave-ish Anima nera (“Black Soul,” 1962), with Stroyberg as one of the women – Eleonora Rossi Drago and Nadja Tiller were a couple of others – in the life of Man with a Past Vittorio Gassman.
- A cameo as a German tourist in Dino Risi’s classic The Easy Life / Il sorpasso (1962), starring Gassman, Catherine Spaak, and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
- The female lead in Ivan Govar’s action thriller Agent of Doom / Un soir… par hasard (1963), with Michel Le Royer, Jean Servais, and Pierre Brasseur.
According to the IMDb, Annette Stroyberg’s last movie was Nando Cicero’s 1965 crime comedy Lo scippo (lit., “The Bag-Snatching”), also featuring Gabriele Ferzetti.
‘Les Liaisons scandaleuses’
With the assistance of journalist Henry-Jean Servat, Annette Stroyberg wrote her book of memoirs, Les Liaisons scandaleuses, published in 2004.
Besides Vittorio Gassman, with whom she lived for a couple of years, among her purported off-screen lovers were Sacha Distel, Omar Sharif, Warren Beatty, and Alain Delon.
Another of her three husbands was Greek shipping magnate Gregory Callimanopulos, with whom she lived for a while in the United States. She returned to life in Paris and Copenhagen after her divorce in the early 1990s.
As quoted in The Guardian, in his memoirs Vittorio Gassman described Annette Stroyberg thus:
“She had the reputation of a vamp, but, in reality, she was as fragile as a gazelle with a disarming melancholy expression. Annette was someone incapable of putting down roots, ceaselessly trying to allay her anxiety.”
Nathalie Vadim, an assistant director in, among others, Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear, and Mike Nichols’ Working Girl and Charlie Wilson’s War, is Annette Stroyberg and Roger Vadim’s daughter.
“Annette Stroyberg: Les Liaisons Dangereuses + Brigitte Bardot Follow-Up” last updated in January 2019.