Lucie Dolène

Lucie Dolène played Snow White in the second French version, released in 1962. She was the first and last Frenchwoman to take on both the speaking and singing roles. But who is she?

And if you want to know everything about Lucie’s life and discover previously unpublished photos, read her autobiography published by L’Harmattan (in French).

An international childhood

Born on June 17, 1931 in Damascus, Syria, Lucienne Chiaroni followed her father, a Corsican intelligence officer, and her mother, a teacher from Auvergne, around the world, notably to Saigon and the island of Poulo-Condore, famous for its penal colony. She then spent her teenage years in Toulon, Avignon and Saint-Amand-Montrond, before setting off to conquer Paris.

Lucie Dolène as a child in Poulo-Condore
Lucie Dolène signing autographs


There, she met composer Joseph Canteloube, with whom she recorded France’s first LP, for which she won the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros. She then turned to operetta after meeting Guy Lafarge, who cast her in “Schnock”. At the same time, she presented a singing tour in Paris’s most famous cabarets, and soon signed a contract with Philips, and recorded several albums and sent her on tour with singer Patachou.


Lucie performed several times abroad (Germany, Lebanon, England, Denmark, Canada…), but in 1955 she received an offer to perform at La vie en rose, a New York nightclub. She was noticed and left for Hollywood to meet Joe Pasternak from MGM, who offered her a contract, which she turned down. She did, however, meet a host of stars at a gala opening for the Hilton Hotel, where she performed with singer Gilbert Bécaud and was seated at Walt Disney’s table.

Lucie Dolène in Hollywood
Lucie Dolène as Loula


While performing an operetta with Luis Mariano, then one with the Jacques brothers, Lucie tamed a new medium, television, where she appeared every week with Robert Hirsch and Jacqueline Maillan in a zany soap opera, La perle rose, on Jean Nohain and André Leclerc’s famous program 36 chandelles. She went on to appear on many variety shows, and even presented Les petits creux de Loula on Vitamine from 1984 to 1986, as well as a program in which she interviewed singers called Chanson Puzzle.

Snow White

Lucie was enchanted as a child when she saw the film, and auditioned for the singing role in the summer of 1962, when the film was rereleased. She sang “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and then, just as she was about to leave, the technicians told her they were also looking for an actress, and had already tested Danièle Ajoret from the Comédie Française. Lucie offered to record a test for the spoken role. She was chosen for both! 4 years later, she was called in again to record the role for the on-ice production.

Lucie Dolène as Snow White
Lucie Dolène recording her lines


Lucie then took a well-deserved retirement, having been active in the dubbing business for decades, for Disney and many others. She is the singing voice of Debbie Reynolds in several films and even her speaking voice on television. She was also Sally Spectra in The Bold and the Beautiful. But she is best remembered for her cartoon characters, such as Snow White, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, Shanti in The Jungle Book, Zorrino in Tintin and the Temple of the Sun, Cindy in Hey There! It’s Yogi Bear, the Princess in Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, the grandmother in The Rose of Versailles, and so on.

Lucie left us on the night of April 9-10, 2020.