Catherine Deneuve

updated 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The subject of today's language drill is Catherine Deneuve. Let's see how she illustrates some basic French terms.

Belle. Means scrumptious. As in: Her voice is the sound of pouring cream. Her every glance strikes the air with a ping. "If I said to you that physical beauty is unimportant, I would be a liar," she laughs. We know.

Eternelle. Means lasting. What people call you when your career stretches from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in 1964 to Indochine, the film that brought Deneuve an Oscar nomination this year for Best Actress.

Suprême. Means the top. Chanel knew Deneuve was it when the company made her a corporate image, a role she has now taken on for the fashion house of friend Yves St. Laurent. When he says that "this is a woman who makes me dream," he's summing up the general view.

Comique. Means funny. "A great sense of humor," she tells you, "is what my father taught me was important in life." Which may be why her idea of someone "really attractive" is...Dudley Moore. Dudley Moore? "Charm," she explains." That is what is really attractive."

Serieuse. Means not funny. "I know there was something I missed between the ages of 14 to 20," she recalls. "I never went to parties, never went to dances. I just got interested in this one boy, and that was it."

Philosophique. Means thoughtful. "I suppose being beautiful is like wearing a crown, "she confides from her Paris home. "There are some burdens. But I can think of worse burdens than wearing that crown." And, at 49, does aging frighten her? "The crown is heavier as you get older," she admits. "But I just kick it away!"

Extraordinaire. Means Deneuve. Any questions?

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