Jean-Louis Barrault

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Jean-Louis Barrault, December 24, 1952
Photograph by Carl van Vechten , from the Van Vechten Collection of the Library of Congress

Jean-Louis Barrault (born September 8, 1910 in Le Vésinet , † January 22, 1994 in Paris ) was a French actor , pantomime and director .


While still studying with Étienne Decroux , Barrault made his debut at the Théâtre de l´Atelier at the age of 21 . From 1935 he directed his own company (e.g. Hamlet after Jules Laforgue , Hunger after Knut Hamsun ) and played in various films (e.g. Les beaux jours , Jenny , L'Or dans la Montagne , Sous les Yeux d ´occident ). He assumed his most famous role from 1943 to 1945 when he mimes the Baptiste Debureau that the real Jean-Gaspard Deburau , is based in the film Children of Paradise by Marcel Carné played.

In 1940 Jean-Louis Barrault was appointed to the Comédie Française . In the same year he and the actress Madeleine Renaud married . Together they founded the private company Compagnie Renauld-Barrault in the Théâtre Marigny in 1947 and undertook extensive tours with this troupe as far as South America (e.g. São Paulo , Montevideo , Buenos Aires , Santiago de Chile ). The Théâtre Marigny later became known as the home of the first concerts of the Domaine Musical .

After their return to Paris , Barrault and Renaud were directors of the state Théâtre de France in 1959 . When Barrault opened the Odéon venue to students during the May riots in 1968 , he was removed from his post by the Minister of Culture André Malraux and banned from all state-subsidized theaters.

In May 1974, Barrault's troupe succeeded in founding a new theater in the Gare d´Orsay station (which was then empty) . When the Compagnie Renaud-Barrault had to give way to the (today's) museum there in 1981, the French state added the Théâtre du Rond-Point in the building of the former Panorama (1838-1894) and Palais des Glaces (1894-1980) the Champs Elysées a new theater that both Madeleine Renaud and Jean-Louis Barrault ran until their deaths in 1994.

Performances by the Compagnie Renaud-Barrault (selection)

Jean-Louis Barrault with his wife Madeleine Renaud in 1952
Photograph by Carl van Vechten, from the Van Vechten Collection of the Library of Congress

Classical French works

  • 1946: Les Fausses Confidences by Marivaux
  • 1947: Amphitryon by Molière
  • 1949: Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière
  • 1951: On ne badine pas avec l'Amour by Alfred de Musset
  • 1954: Le Misanthrope by Molière
  • 1955: Bérénice from Racine

Modern French works

World premieres of French works


Foreign language works

Filmography (selection)

Barrault literature

  • I am a theater person. Luchterhand Collection, Frankfurt am Main 1989. Original edition: Je suis homme de théâtre . Editions du Conquistador, Paris 1955.
  • Memories for tomorrow. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1973, ISBN 3-10-005902-6 . Original edition: Souvenirs pour demain. Editions du Soleil, Paris 1972.
  • Reflections on the theater . (Selected texts from: Nouvelles Réflexions sur le Théâtre. Flammarion, Paris), Peter Schifferli “Die Arche,” Zurich 1962.

Web links

Commons : Jean-Louis Barrault  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files