Michel bouquet

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Michel bouquet

Michel Bouquet (born November 6, 1925 in Paris ) is a French actor .


As a teenager he began an apprenticeship as a baker and was employed by a bank at the beginning of the Second World War. In 1942 he took acting classes with Maurice Escande at the Paris Conservatoire d'art dramatique and made his debut a little later with Gérard Philipe in Caligula . He gained in profile especially in plays by Jean Anouilh . He made his film debut in 1946, but it was Truffaut and Chabrol that made him famous in the later films of the Nouvelle Vague. He was best known as a representative of the bourgeoisie in Claude Chabrol's films , mostly at the side of Stéphane Audran , for example in Before Nightfall , The Unfaithful Woman , The Rift and Chicken in Vinegar . François Truffaut cast him as one of the victims of Jeanne Moreau in The Bride Wore Black and as a private investigator murdered by Jean-Paul Belmondo in The Secret of the False Bride .

He had other significant roles in the Simenon film adaptation Between Death and Life (after The Bells of Bicêtre), in which he portrays a man who is brought back to life by Claude Jade after a stroke , or in Schafott as a commissioner who stubbornly the rehabilitation of a released prisoner ( Alain Delon ) sabotaged.

His other outstanding works include The Legion of the Damned , Robert Hossein's film adaptation of Victor Hugo's Die Elenden , in which he pursues Javert Lino Ventura as inspector .

Bouquet continues to impress with great roles in the new millennium, for example in the title role in Renoir in 2012 .

Working method

Michel Bouquet is considered to be a convincing performer of honest, calculating and cold-feeling married men and businessmen of the French small-town bourgeoisie. Actress Claude Jade, his partner in Between Death and Life, describes Bouquet, who played one of his most difficult roles in it, as a very friendly perfectionist in her book Baisers envolés : “Michel Bouquet is extremely precise and leaves nothing to chance. I am very impressed with his focus and his ability to work so precisely. He was fully prepared for the role of the press tycoon suddenly stricken with hemiplegia and aphasia after a stroke . In the first two thirds of the film he only says his lines in the voice-over . When the shooting takes place, nothing or almost nothing is like what we envisioned; the external disturbances are confusing, the arrangement of the sickroom, restored in a house, is different. But despite all these guidelines, Michel Bouquet adapts, sometimes he does the opposite of what he had planned, and he is great at it. And he's also a man of perfect courtesy. "

Filmography (selection)


  • 2002: César in the category of best leading actor in Comment j'ai tué mon père
  • 2006: César as best leading actor in Last Days at the Elysée (as François Mitterrand )
  • 2014: César nomination for best leading actor in Renoir

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