A fighter that life has not spared but who has won the hearts of the general public. This Wednesday, July 13, Charlotte Valandrey died at the age of 53 at the Pitié-Salpétrière hospital in Paris, announced her agent and her family to AFP. Sad news that comes a month after his second heart transplant. “On June 14, Charlotte had to have emergency surgery to replace her ‘used heart’ as she called it, but this new transplant did not take, this third heart did not live,” explained his daughter, sister and father in the press release.
“Since the operation, Charlotte had been in an artificial coma to escape pain and complications. Several days ago, she briefly came out of it to express her exhaustion and the imperious wish to join Anne-Marie, her deceased mother. After a last fight of a month where the hours lasted centuries, where to express herself Charlotte blinked her eyes and wrote a few words on a slate, she fell asleep in a smile shaking her father’s hand Jean-Pierre, his daughter Tara and sister Aude”, wrote his relatives.
In this press release, those around her wanted to announce the date and place of her funeral, as well as the holding of a religious ceremony: “Charlotte will be buried privately in Pléneuf-Val André, a commune in the Côtes d’Armor which inspired his artist name, not far from the immense beach of his childhood holidays”.
Anne-Charlotte Pascal alias Charlotte Valandrey was born on November 29, 1968 in Paris. She is the youngest daughter of a calculation software developer named Jean-Pierre Pascal and a pianist named Anne-Marie. She spent part of her childhood in Brittany before moving to Paris in the early 80s. Five years later, she began her acting career in Véra Belmont’s film, Rouge Baiser. It was at this time that she chose the pseudonym Charlotte Valandrey, in homage to the seaside resort Val-André, located in the Côtes d’Armor where she lived from the age of six.
Thanks to her performance in her first film, she won the Silver Bear for best actress in 1986. Aged 16, she was also nominated for the César for best female hope for this role. It was at this time that she met a drug-addicted musician named Yoan. After the start of their relationship, the two lovers decide to get tested. The result is then reassuring: she is negative for the HIV test but must nevertheless repeat the tests later. She then flew to Canada where she was to shoot her next film. Two months after the start of filming, her companion decides to break up by telephone. “I am dropped, thrown for the first time, I think of dying”, she wrote in Love in the blood.
It was during a second screening that the actress learned by mail that she had contracted the HIV virus. “I am paralyzed (…) My head turns inside me (…) Why me? Why this ? Why ? I didn’t have time to grow up. I haven’t been told anything. I just heard two or three things on TV (…) I didn’t pay attention. But watch out for what, love? Should we be wary of love? I was naive, immortal princess like all girls my age, maybe a little more,” she wrote.
In 1989, she was approached to play the main role in the film Noce Blanche, by director Jean-Claude Brisseau. But according to the actress, the production would not have wanted to assure her after being informed of her HIV status. Finally, it is the star Vanessa Paradis who gets the role in her place. Between 1991 and 2003, she played the role of Myriam Cordier, in the series Les Cordier, judge and cop.
“I had to pay the price, since show business, which wants to be tolerant, turned its back on me overnight. I was the only one in France to publicly admit to being affected by this disease and, since 2005, I no longer have any offers for films or TV films. Nevertheless, when I read the hundreds of letters that tell me: “Bravo for your courage, thank you for what you have done”, I do not regret anything”, she told France Sunday in 2011.
It was not until 2017 that the actress returned to film sets by playing the role of Laurence Moiret in the TF1 series Tomorrow belongs to us. In 2018, we also find her in the mini-series Les Innocents on TF1.
In 2005, Charlotte Valandrey published a book entitled L’amour dans le sang in which she revealed that she had AIDS. In this book, she also revealed that she had two heart attacks which almost cost her her life in August 2003. It was following these two cardiac arrests that the actress had to undergo a first heart transplant.
“I don’t realize anything, I don’t realize that I’m going to be sawn in half, that the operation will last seven hours, that this type of transplant is a medical first in France, on an HIV-positive woman. I don’t want to know, I’m immortal once again. Denying my physical reality helped me. In the recovery room, superbly connected, connected to the blood and air machine, I very quickly felt my graft beating. I adopted him. Sweetheart, this is my pre-Christmas present – I had surgery in November – a very nice present. My only worry has been: what if I get the heart of someone who was even more in love, crazier, more passionate than me? Did he love more than me? I thought it belonged to a woman. She saved me, that changes everything. A priori, I no longer have the right to want to throw myself out the window, you have to get back on your feet, ”she told our colleagues from L’Express in 2005.
Very involved in this cause of organ donation and transplantation, she became godmother in 2008 of the Greffe de vie foundation.
In her book De Coeur Unknown, released in 2011, the actress claims to see the death of her heart donor as a nightmare: “I regularly had nightmares where I was the victim of a serious car accident in Paris: . ..It’s raining, I’m blinded by headlights, I have a terrible stomach ache and I have a baby next to me. Then suddenly, I feel a terrible shock and I wake up… After a year, I couldn’t take it anymore, I decided to find out where my transplanted heart came from, to understand these mysterious nightmares. I then discovered that the day of my transplant, a female doctor had died in Paris, in the rain, in a car accident! Exactly like in my nightmare”, she explained to France Sunday in 2011.
In her book, she reveals that she met a man named Yann. He seduces her and begins their romantic idyll. A fulfilling relationship that ends abruptly the day the star discovers that he is potentially the husband of her heart donor. “His name is Yann: he is a brilliant architect, elegant and romantic, full of charm, who shares his life between Paris and Berlin. He was full of attention, delicate, infinite kindness, so I cracked. Our love story was wonderful, authentic. He had told me that he was divorced from his wife. One day, by chance, while searching his office, I discovered documents indicating that his wife, a certain Virginie, had died on November 4, 2003 in a fatal accident, one stormy evening, Place de la Nation, in Paris. Amazement: it’s the same day as my heart transplant… Upon discovering the death certificate, my hands were shaking and I couldn’t breathe! In another cover, an article from Le Parisien mentioned my transplant. I understood that he had lied to me and that by seducing me, he continued to love his wife, by proxy, via the heart that she gave to me”, she told.
After her divorce from a certain Arthur Lecaisne in 2003, the actress felt ready to meet true love: “I’m fine, I feel ready to meet the man of my life”, she said in Paris Game in April 2019.