A petite, intense, slender, raven-haired Spanish stage actress whose career was focused primarily in France, Maria Casares made only minimal film appearances, but with memorable impact. The daughter of a Republican minister, she and her family fled to Paris at the advent of the Spanish Civil War. At that time, Casares spoke no French, yet within three years, she had enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire and by 1942 had her first notable stage triumph in John Millington Synge's "Deirdre of the Sorrows." Based on this success, she was offered the leading role in Albert Camus' "Le Malentendu" which led to a three-year relationship with the author. Even after the couple separated, Casares had played roles in two of his stage plays, "Etat de Siege" (1948) and "Les Justes" (1949). They remained on friendly terms until his death in an automobile accident in January 1960.