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Madeleine LeBeau’s Real Life Casablanca Story

Madeleine LeBeau as Yvonne in Casablanca


Madeleine LeBeau died in May 2016.  At ninety-two, she was the last surviving member of the cast of the 1942 classic film Casablanca.

LeBeau played Rick Blaine’s spurned girlfriend, Yvonne.  She was just nineteen years old at the time the movie was filmed.

People will always remember Yvonne’s stirring response to the French National Anthem, and her cry of “Vive la France” at the end of the song.   For the moment, Rick had been pushed out of her mind.

In this scene, Claude Rains and Ingrid Bergman told so much of the story with their eyes.



Madeleine LeBeau’s Real Life Casablanca Story –


Madeleine LeBeau cried real tears in that famous scene.

LeBeau had just lived through a real life escape from the Nazis.  She and her husband, actor Marcel Dalio, fled Paris just hours before the invasion.  They were both Jews.

The Nazis used Marcel Dalio’s face in posters to identify Jewish-looking features.

Marcel Dalio also appeared in Casablanca.  He played Emil, the Roulette croupier in Rick’s illegal casino.

Many of the other Casablanca actors and extras shared Madeleine’s and Marcel’s story of escape from the Nazis.

Here is the famous scene where Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and his croupier Emil (Marcel Dalio) help a young Bulgarian couple fulfill their dream of going to America (colorized version) –




The power of a National Anthem  –


At times like these, we need to reflect on Yvonne’s–and Madeleine’s–heart wrenching singing of her National Anthem.

We need to remember why the National Anthem is a powerful thing.

We need to fight for our own National Anthem as passionately as Victor and the rest of Rick’s customers were willing to fight, even with Nazi officers watching them in anger.

More than anything, we need to remember why Madeleine LeBeau’s tears were real.

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