Who was Musidora?
Jeanne Roques (23 February 1889 – 11 December 1957), known professionally as 'Musidora', was a French actress, film director and writer. She is best known for her acting in silent films, and rose to public attention for roles in the Louis Feuillade 'serials Les Vampires' as Irma Vep and in 'Judex' as Marie Verdier.
Born Jeanne Roques in Paris, France and raised by a feminist mother and socialist father, 'Musidora' began her career in the arts at an early age, writing her first novel at the age of fifteen and acting on the stage with the likes of Colette, one of her lifelong friends.
Adopting the moniker of 'Musidora', after the heroine in the novel 'Fortunio', and affecting a unique vamp persona that would be popularized in the United States by actress Theda Bara at about the same time, 'Musidora' soon found a foothold in the nascent medium of moving pictures.
With her heavily kohled dark eyes, somewhat sinister make-up, pale skin and exotic wardrobes, 'Musidora' quickly became a highly popular and instantly recognizable presence of European cinema.
Beginning in 1915, 'Musidora' began appearing in the successful Feuillade-directed serial 'Les Vampires' as Irma Vep, a cabaret singer, opposite Édouard Mathé as crusading journalist 'Philippe Guerande'.
Musidora married Dr. Clément Marot on 20 April 1927. The union lasted 15 years and produced one child, Clément Marot Jr. The couple divorced in 1944. Musidora died in Paris, France in 1957.