Cécile Aubry was born Anne-José Madeleine Henriette Bénard to a wealthy family in Paris. As a teenager, she began a career as a dancer and joined the famed Cours Simon drama school, where she was spotted by director Henri-Georges Clouzot. She got her big break as an actress in the title role of Manon (1949), directed by Clouzot, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. She went to Hollywood, signed by 20th Century Fox to co-star alongside Tyrone Power and Orson Welles in The Black Rose (1950). She also starred in Bluebeard (1952), one of the first French-produced films made in color. In 1956, she married Si Brahim El Glaoui, the son of the Pasha of Marrakesh, whom she had met on location in Morocco for The Black Rose, and announced her retirement from films in 1959. She went on to write children's books and scenarios for children's television. After a divorce, she returned to France, where she directed the TV series for children Poly, about a boy and a horse, and Belle et Sébastien (1965-1970) adapted from her books.