Simone Silva ~ The Topless Starlet

 Simone Silva

Simone Silva was a 1950s starlet who caused a scandal when she posed topless.

She was born Martha Simone de Bouillard on August 15, 1948 in Cairo, Egypt. Her parents were French and Italian. At the age of eighteen she married Cecil Silver, a wealthy businessman, and moved to England. Simone started her career modeling for sexy pin-up photos. In 1950 she made her film debut in the French movie Le tampon du capiston. Then she had bit parts in the British films Bikini Baby and Bachelor In Paris. The voluptuous redhead struggled with her weight so she began crash dieting. She was cast in the big budget adventure Hajji Baba but was replaced before filming began. Her marriage to Cecil ended in 1954. That same year she costarred with Diana Dors in the drama The Weak And The Wicked. Simone desperately wanted to become famous and claimed she would "do anything" to get in the papers. At the 1954 Cannes film festival she was awarded the honorary title of "Miss Festival 1954" and asked to pose for photos with actor Robert Mitchum. When the photographers started taking pictures she shocked them by stripping her top off.

Simone Silva

Simone Silva Nude With Robert MitchumSimone Silva Nude With Robert Mitchum
Posing topless with Robert Mitchum

The nude publicity stunt turned into a major scandal and she was asked to leave the festival. In an interview she said "I thought it would help my career. I wanted to go to Hollywood - and after all Marilyn Monroe became famous after she posed nude for a calendar. What was the harm in it?" She was signed by independent producer Al Petker and moved to Hollywood. Unfortunately she had trouble obtaining a work visa and began feuding with Petker over her salary. Simone was hospitalized in November 1954 due to stress and her eating disorder. Soon after she was forced to return to England. She landed a role in the 1956 low-budget crime picture The Dynamiters. Then she appeared in two episodes of the television show The Gay Cavalier. Tragically on November 30, 1957 she was found dead in her London apartment. Simone had died from a stroke caused by her rigorous crash-dieting. She was only twenty-nine years old.

Simone SilvaSimone Silva

Simone Silva