Leslie Caron to appear on SVU

Veteran French actress Leslie Caron is making a rare appearance in front of American cameras this week for an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

Caron, 74, who begins work in Manhattan on Wednesday, has been stealing the hearts of moviegoers since 1951, when she appeared in An American in Paris during the glory days of MGM, and then cemented her star status in such films as Lili (1953) and The L-Shaped Room (1962), both of which brought her best-actress Oscar nominations.

Her other credits include Gigi (1958), Fanny (1961), and dozens more, all the way to the more recent Chocolat in 2000 and Le Divorce in 2003.

Besides acting, Caron also runs a restaurant called Le Lucarne aux Chouettes, or the Owl's Nest, in Villeneuve sur Yonne in the Burgundy region of France, about 90 minutes southeast of Paris. The restaurant sits in an idyllic village setting overlooking the River Yonne and is part of a guest hotel she also owns.

Caron's L&O; episode will be directed by Juan Campanella, whose Argentinean film Son of the Bride was nominated for the 2001 Academy Award as best foreign-language film.

In addition to luring Caron to their set, SVU executive producer Neal Baer and his team also just finished working with another legendary talent, a much slimmed-down and dramatic Jerry Lewis.