Hollywood hasn’t made many French female discoveries like Leslie Caron. In her just-published autobiography Thank Heaven (Viking) — appropriately named after the Maurice Chevalier-sung number in Gigi — Caron chronicles her fairy-tale film career, beginning with her privileged and idyllic childhood in Paris that was cut short when the Nazis came marching in. After she was discovered by legendary French choreographer Roland Petit and asked to join his Ballet des Champs-Elysees (which also included pre-Balanchine muse Violette Verdy and an unknown Brigitte Bardot), Caron was once again whisked away by Gene Kelly to star in one of the greatest movie musicals of all time, An American in Paris. She goes on to recount working with Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Vincent Minnelli and Jean Renoir, and befriending the likes of Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and artist Christopher Isherwood. Of course, she also opens up about her romances, including getting hitched in Vegas to her first husband (there were three), a Hormel heir, and dating and almost marrying Warren Beatty. Today, the Oscar-nominated actress still appears in film and theater, even winning an Emmy in 2007, and in an un-Hollywood manner, she also runs a bed-and-breakfast outside Paris. Caron signs and discusses her memoir with Weekly film editor Scott Foundas.

Fri., Dec. 4, 7 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly