Marie-Louise, Duchess of Parma (1791-1847) was the second wife of French Emperor Napoléon and mother of his only child. Her father was the Holy Roman Emperor, and he married Marie-Louise to Napoléon after the end of war between the two countries — Napoléon divorced his wife Joséphine as they hadn’t had any children. Marie-Louise became Empress of the French and Queen of Italy. The couple had one child (Napoléon II).
After Napoléon’s fall and eventual death, Marie-Louise was confirmed as Duchess of Parma (in modern Italy) but only for life (i.e., not a hereditary title). She remarried to an Austrian count (who she’d hooked up with before Napoléon’s death) and the two had four children; and then after his death, married another guy, who helped her out when there was an uprising in Parma.
Marie-Louise is often a footnote in productions about Napoléon, but nonetheless she’s been on screen a number of times. Sometimes it’s so small a role that I haven’t been able to track down any images, but here’s the ones I can find!
Note: Anna Mawn will play her in Napoleon (2023), but I haven’t yet been able to find any images of her in costume/from the film.
Suzanne Bianchetti in Madame Sans-Gêne (1925)
Paula Wessely in So Ended a Great Love (1934)
A German film focused on Napoléon and Marie-Louise’s marriage.
Madeleine Foujane in Let’s Go Up the Champs-Élysées (1938)
One of French director Sacha Guitry’s multi-episodic looks at French history.
Maria Schell in Napoléon (1955)
A biopic about the emperor.
Marianne Koch in Napoléon II, l’aiglon (1961)
A TV film about Marie-Louise’s son.
Susan Wooldridge in Napoleon and Love (1974)
Another TV film/miniseries focused on Napoléon’s many relationships.
Isabelle Gardien in Napoleon and Josephine: a Love Story (1987)
The shlocky miniseries!
Mavie Hörbiger in Napoléon (2002)
Y’know, another TV biopic.
Do you have a favorite Marie-Louise, Duchess of Parma?