Written by Staff Writer
16 Feb, 2015 | 4:50 pm
The French actor Louis Jourdan, best known for his role in the multi-Oscar winning 1958 musical Gigi, has died in California aged 93.
Born in Marseilles, he began his career acting in French films, before being lured to the US. Often seen in roles that capitalised on his Gallic charm, he described himself as Hollywood’s “French cliche”.
His later years saw him play evil villains, including in the 1983 Bond film Octopussy.
His official biographer Olivier Minne said that Jourdan died at his home in Los Angeles. Gigi was one of the biggest films of the 1950s.
As one of Hollywood’s favourite French actors, Jourdan played opposite leading ladies Joan Fontaine, Jennifer Jones, Grace Kelly and Shirley MacLaine in films during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s.
Other key roles included a part in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1947 film The Paradine Case, and with Grace Kelly in The Swan.
He played concert pianist Stefan Brand opposite actress Joan Fontaine in the 1948 film Letter from an Unknown Woman.
He also showed that he could play a villain in the 1956 film Julie, in which he played Doris Day’s husband, a psychopathic killer.
But despite his 15 years as a leading man, Jourdan felt he was often subject to Hollywood typecasting.
His early career in France was interrupted by World War Two. He refused to star in Nazi propaganda films and joined the resistance.
In 2010 he was given France’s top award, Legion D’Honneur.
His wife of more than 60 years, Berthe Frederique Jourdan, died last year.
Source : BBC
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