Leslie Caron was born in France from a French father and an American mother and former dancer. The young girl started ballet at the age of 10 and was discovered by Gene Kelly in Roland Petit's company, the Ballets des Champs Elysées, performing La Rencontre, in 1947. Three years later, he cast her as his love interest and leading dancing partner in An American in Paris, which led to a contract with MGM Studios and to instant stardom. Many of her early films were musicals in which were made excellent use of her ballet training and juvenile allure. She starred alongside Fred Astaire in Daddy Long Legs, in 1955 and as the ideal Cinderella in The Glass Slipper, followed by a notable acting performance in Colette's Gigi, in 1958. With the decline of musicals by the end of the 1950s, Leslie Caron achieved to prove her dramatic talent in features such as Fanny, in 1961 and the L-Shaped Room, in 1963. From the end of the 1960s, her Hollywood career declined and she turned herself towards European productions for which she often embodied the ultimate elegant ageing woman, such as in François Truffaut's The Man who Loved a Woman, in 1977, Louis Malle's Fatale, in 1992, Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolate, in 2000 and James Ivory's Divorce, in 2003. With her waif-like figure and charming gestures, Leslie Caron incarnated the graceful dancer on Hollywood screens and mesmerized audiences while blooming into an accomplished and elegant actress, she did however have her own share of scandal when she was involved in an affair with Warren Beatty while married to Peter Hall.