Yves Montand

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Yves Montand, 1987

Yves Montand , born as Ivo Livi (born October 13, 1921 in Monsummano Terme , Tuscany , Italy ; † November 9, 1991 in Senlis , Oise department , France ), was a French chansonnier and actor of Italian origin.



Yves Montand was born in Tuscany as the son of the independent broom maker and radical communist Giovanni Livi. With Mussolini's seizure of power in October 1922 , the persecution and violence of the fascists against dissenters became worse and worse, they could lead to the destruction of existence. So the father decided to emigrate to America and later bring his family to join them. But he got stuck in Marseille and tried to establish an independent existence there as a broom maker. In 1924 he was followed by the family, who received French citizenship in 1929. In 1932 his father was bankrupt because of the global economic crisis that was now spreading across Europe . Yves had to leave school, he now worked in his sister's hairdresser, among other things.


Yves Montand, 1952
Yves Montand, 1982

In 1938, at the age of seventeen, he first appeared as a singer in clubs. Since then he has called himself Yves Montand. He became a well-known chanson star in the south of France. In 1940 France was occupied by Hitler's Germany, and Montand narrowly escaped deportation to Germany. After the end of the Vichy regime , he went to Paris, where his career began in 1944 at the ABC on Boulevard Poissonnière , a music hall that seats 1200. He received his first own show in Paris in 1945 at the Théâtre de l'Étoile , it was the beginning of a career as a recognized chansonnier. His role model as a singer, dancer and actor was the American Fred Astaire . In the meantime, he discovered Édith Piaf , who - also of Italian descent - made the brisk young man her lover and had him appear in her shows. His first film was released in 1946. In 1949 he met the actress Simone Signoret , who divorced Yves Allégret because of him and married him two years later; outwardly both led a model marriage. Yves Montand became world famous with the award-winning film Wages of Fear from 1953. He worked with the directors Claude Sautet , Philippe de Broca , Jean-Luc Godard and Costa-Gavras and starred in films alongside Romy Schneider , Marilyn Monroe , Jane Fonda , Gérard Depardieu and Sami Frey .

In 1950 Montand was one of the signatories of the Stockholm Appeal against Nuclear Weapons . He also saw his films as a political statement. He sympathized with the French Communist Party (PCF) and saw himself as a communist until the Warsaw Pact troops marched into Prague . In the 1980s, however, he criticized the socialist President Mitterrand for appointing members of the PCF as ministers.


Montand died of a heart attack in 1991 shortly after completing his last film . In an interview, Jean-Jacques Brilleix said: “He died on the film set [from IP5 - Island of the Pachyderms ]… On the last day of shooting, after the very last scene. It was last night and we had to re-shoot a few scenes. He finished what he had to do and then he just died. And the film tells exactly the story of an old man who dies of a heart attack, which in reality actually happened. "

Montand was buried next to Simone Signoret on the Paris Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Division 44) .

Exhumed in March 1998

Since Montand had always denied the paternity of Aurore Drossart, born on October 6, 1975, she and her mother Anne filed a lawsuit. The court asked Montand in 1990 for a blood test , but the actor refused. Three years after Montand's death, the court recognized Aurore as an illegitimate daughter. The surviving dependents of Montand ( Carole Amiel and Catherine Allégret ) objected to this and the related inheritance claims of 1/8 of Montand's assets . Seven years after Yves Montand's funeral, his remains were therefore exhumed. Three independent examinations of the tissue samples came to the conclusion that "Monsieur Ivo Livi, called Yves Montand, could not be the father of Mademoiselle Aurore Drossart".

Stepdaughter's Memoirs

In 2004, his step daughter Catherine Allégret incriminated him posthumously in her memoir Un monde à l'envers (German: one world is upside down ) . Montand had sexually abused her since she was five, with the consent of her mother Simone Signoret, who was trying to keep her marriage going. However, she was unable to provide any evidence to support her claims.

Filmography (selection)

Nominations for film awards

Tomb of Simone Signoret and Yves Montand on the Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris



  • For Yves Montand. (OT: Per Yves Montand. ) Documentary, Italy, 2005, 53 min., Director: Nino Bizzarri , production: Rai International, Franco Porcarelli, film page .
  • Yves Montand, charm, chanson and acting. (OT: Yves Montand, l'ombre au tableau. ) Documentary, France, 2015, 59 min., Director: Karl Zéro and Daisy d'Errata, production: La mondiale de productions, Troisième Œil Productions, arte France, broadcast: 15 May 2016, summary by ARD .

Web links

Commons : Yves Montand  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Yves Montand on Find a Grave
  2. Jochen Leibel: Aurore is not his daughter. In: Die Welt , June 13, 1998.