Philippe Noiret

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Philippe Noiret

Philippe Pierre Fernand Noiret (Lille, France, October 1, 1930 – Paris, France, November 23, 2006) was a French theater and film actor, with a long career professional from 1948 to 2006.

He developed his career mainly in France and Italy, and is remembered internationally for his performances in the film Cinema Paradiso (1989), for which he received the BAFTA award for best actor, and in Il Postino (1994).

Winner of two César Awards for El viejo fusil (1976), and for La vida y nada más (1990). He received the Legion of Honor award in 2005, in the Caballero degree.

Philippe_Noiret’s Biography

Born into a family of small merchants, he spent his childhood in Toulouse. He studied in Paris, at the Lycée Janson de Sailly in Paris and at the Collège de Juilly, in the Seine and Marne. He joined the choir of the school, where he demonstrated sufficient quality of voice to participate, in 1949, in a mass in the Basilica of San Pedro.

After having failed on three occasions his high school exams, in 1950 he dropped out of school and enrolled in a drama course in Paris, and then continued at the Center dramatique de l’Ouest, in Rennes. The man of letters Henry de Montherlant convinced him to pursue an acting career.

In 1953 he applied to the Théâtre National Populaire, a state institution, in which he was accepted, beginning his professional career as an actor until 1960, a period in which he performed more than forty works, including classics such as El Cid, Macbeth, Don Juan , The Marriage of Figaro, The Imaginary Sick and The School of Women.

At the same time he successfully performed in a duo with Jean-Pierre Darras, who satirized political figures of the time, such as Charles De Gaulle, Michel Debré and André Malraux. In the Théâtre National Populaire he met the actress Monique Chaumette, whom he married in 1962 and had his daughter, Frédérique Noiret.

In 1956, he made his first film role in the film La Pointe-courte by Agnès Varda, in a last-minute replacement of the actor Georges Wilson, who fell ill and had to leave.

In 1960 he definitively left the cigarette and Théâtre National Populaire, and began his career as a film actor in the film Zazie dans le métro (1960) by Louis Malle, followed by Thérèse Desqueyroux (1962) by Georges Franju. He became known among the French film audience, but did not achieve an important role until 1966, in the film La Vie de château by Jean-Paul Rappeneau

He achieved a resounding success in his country with the film The Art of Living … but well (1967) by Yves Robert; other outstanding films were the night of the generals (1967) of Anatole Litvak, and Topaz (1969) of Alfred Hitchcock.

In the 1970s he participated in more than thirty films, among which the films War of Murphy (1971) by Peter Yates; The great feast (La Grande Bouffe, 1973) by Marco Ferreri, controversial film for his time, demonstrating its great versatility, along with his wife Monique, who also had a role in the film. Another outstanding film was The watchmaker of Saint Paul (1974) by Bertrand Tavernier, the first film of the director and with whom he would collaborate in several other films.

He received his first César Award for best actor, for his participation in El viejo fusil (1975), by Robert Enrico. Other outstanding films were A taxi mauve (1977), by Yves Boisset, and Pero, who kills the great chefs? (1978) by Ted Kotcheff.

He extended his field of work to Italy, performing in films by prominent directors such as Mario Monicelli, Valerio Zurlini, Francesco Rossi and Ettore Scola, among others.

In the following decade, he participated in another thirty films, being nominated for the César Award by 1,280 souls of Bertrand Tavernier, and by Les Ripoux (1984) who would have two more sequels, in 1990 and 2003. He also won the Prize BAFTA for the best actor, for his work in Cinema Paradiso (1988), by Giuseppe Tornatore, along with other awards.

His second César Award was received for his work in La vida y nada más (1990), by Bertrand Tavernier. He played the poet Pablo Neruda in the film El postero (1994), by Michael Radford, a film that received numerous international awards; acting in the 1990s in about thirty more movies.

In the 2000s he contributed with eight films. His last film was 3 amis (2007), by Michel Boujenah.

In May 2000, he received the Trophée du meilleur ouvrier de France prize awarded by the President of the Cannes Film Festival, Gilles Jacob. On July 14, 2005, he was awarded the Legion of Honor in the Knight degree.

His prolific career reached close to 150 films, in which he excelled in virtually every film genre, from comedy to drama. He is considered one of the most popular actors in French and international cinema and in addition to the theatrical environment.

Sick of cancer, he died at 76 years of age in Paris. His remains rest in the Montparnasse Cemetery, in the same city.

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