b. Colette Lucie Raget, 1 November 1924, Ermont, Seine-et-Oise, France, d. 6 October 2010, Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, France. After studying classical cello, Renard worked in various non-musical capacities, including becoming an administrative secretary for orchestra leader Raymond Legrand, whom she later married. She began singing and in 1956 played the lead in the first production of Irma La Douce, which was staged at Paris’ Theatre Gramont. Renard continued playing this role through the late 50s and would return to it often in later years, Alexandre Breffort and Marguerite Monnot’s songs becoming a staple of her repertoire. She became a popular recording and concert artist, maintaining a high level of activity and audience appreciation through into the late 90s. She also recorded traditional French songs as collected and adapted by Guy Breton.
From the late 50s Renard appeared in films, including Le Dos au Mur (US title: Back to the Wall), Business (1960) and Clodo (1970). Her television appearances included roles in Les Dossiers de Me Robineau: Les Cagnards (1972), Un Grand Amour de Balzac and La Vie Rêvée de Vincent Scotto (both 1973), Mon Petit Âne, Ma Mère (1982), Maigret et la Princesse (2003), Plus Belle la Vie (2004) and Le Triporteur de Belleville (2005). She has also appeared as herself on television and in films, including Oscar Thiffault (1987). Her autobiography was published in 1998. Colette Renard died of cancer at the age of 85 on 6 October 2010 in Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, France.