She was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. She was discovered by Gene Kelly, who chose her to appear opposite him in the classic musical An American in Paris.
She went on to star in Gigi with Maurice Chevalier and, Lili, plus other classic films set in France. She continues to act, appearing recently for example in the acclaimed film Chocolat.
In 1953, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role in the film Lili.