French actor Louis Jourdan dies aged 93

Veteran French actor Louis Jourdan, who starred in "Gigi" and "Octopussy", has died in Los Angeles at the age of 93, his official biographer said Sunday.

French actor Louis Jourdan dies aged 93
Louis Jourdan in Hollywood, 1948. Photo: AFP
Jourdan died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home on Saturday, author Olivier Minne told AFP by phone from Paris.
"He embodied French elegance and Hollywood offered him the parts to go with that," Minne said.
Like his contemporaries Maurice Chevalier and Jean-Pierre Aumont, Jourdan used his Gallic charm and good looks to conquer Hollywood.    
Over his decades-long career he starred in dozens of films and TV series, acting alongside greats such as Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Shirley MacLaine.
In one of his most memorable performances, he played a leading role in the Oscar-winning 1958 musical "Gigi".
He also notably starred in the 1983 James Bond film "Octopussy", where he took a departure from his usual romantic hero persona to play the villain.

(Jourdan with his wife in Hollywood, 1948. Photo: AFP)
Born in Marseille in 1921, he made his debut on French screens in 1939 acting in a string of romantic comedies. 
He put his career on hold during the Second World War, when he joined the Resistance.
He was lured to Hollywood by producer David O. Selznick and made his American debut in the 1947 Alfred Hitchcock drama "The Paradine Case".
The actor famously said he never watched any of his own movies and described himself as Hollywood's "French cliche".
His final appearance on the big screen was in the 1992 film "Year of the Comet".
He even made a brief foray onto the stage when he appeared alongside James Dean in an adaptation of Andre Gide's "The Immoralist" in the 1950s, before returning to Broadway in 1978 for French playwright George Feydeau's farce "13, rue de l'Amour".
Jourdan has two stars on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame" and was awarded France's Legion of Honour in 2010 in his adopted home of Los Angeles in the presence of friends Sidney Poitier and Kirk Douglas.
His private life was marked by the tragedy of the death of his only son, Louis Henry, of an overdose in 1981. His wife of six decades, childhood sweetheart Berthe Frederique, died last year.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


French film club for English speakers returns to cinemas

Lost in Frenchlation, a film club that screens French films with English subtitles in Paris, is returning to cinemas this weekend after holding virtual screenings during lockdown.

French film club for English speakers returns to cinemas

Wednesday saw the reopening of cafés, restaurants, museums, theatres and cinemas in France since October.

This means that Lost in Frenchlation can return to cinemas, and film buffs who struggle to watch French movies without English subtitles can meet up again this weekend at the Luminor Hotel de Ville where the first screening is taking place this Sunday.

READ ALSO: French cinemas face 400-film backlog as they prepare to reopen

What’s on the programme?

The first event taking place on Sunday, May 23rd is a screening of Albert Dupontel’se César awarded film “Adieu les cons” (Bye bye Morons), a comedy drama about a woman who tries to find her long-lost child with a help of a man in the middle of a burnout and a blind archivist.

On Sunday, May 30th there will be a Mother’s Day special screening of “Énorme”, comedy, starring Marina Foïs and Jonathan Cohen, at Club de l’Étoile in the 17th arrondissement in Paris. 

On Saturday, May 22nd, there will be a virtual screening of “Joli Mai” by Chris Marker (1963) which inspired the documentary film Le Joli Mai 2020. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Chris Marker specialist & journalist Jean-Michel Frodon.

Lost in Frenchlation is a company that sets up screenings of recent French film releases with English subtitles to give Paris’s large international community access to French culture and meet others in the same situation.

For more information, check out their website or sign up to their newsletter (link here).