Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Michel Serrault Dies

The much admired and versatile actor, Michel Serrault has died after a long illness. Those interested can read the NY Times article from AP:

PARIS (AP) -- French actor Michel Serrault, whose hit performance as a transvestite in the film and stage versions of "La cage aux folles" (The Birdcage) catapulted him to international stardom, has died. He was 79.

Serrault died Sunday of cancer in his home in the northwestern city of Honfleur, said his priest, the Rev. Alain Maillard de La Morandais.

Serrault appeared in more than 130 films during a career that spanned half a century. After debuting as a comic actor, Serrault became one of France's most versatile stars, playing a serial killer, a grizzled farmer, a crooked banker and accused rapist.

"I'm against those who only want to entertain," Serrault said in 2002. "I am very happy with all the roles I've played, and I take responsibility for them all."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid homage to Serrault's "impressive filmography," calling the actor a "monument of the world of the theater, the cinema and the television."

French Culture Minister Christine Albanel called Serrault "a greatly popular actor, capable of affecting all sorts of audiences" and a man "of true generosity."

Read the whole article here.

Though it's off the topic of France, no one who went to the movies regularly in the '50's, '60's and beyond can forget the tremendous impact of the films of Ingmar Bergman. The legendary Swedish director died at age 89. The NYT has 3 pages of biography.

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At August 03, 2007 5:27 PM, Anonymous dauphin_b612 said...

He really was a versatile actor. I saw "Garde à Vue" which was put on tv recently, and "L'Avare" not long ago. When you compare those roles to Zaza Napoli(!), you can see Serrault really was a big talent, deceptive because of his every-man looks. God speed wherever he is. With Bergman and Antonioni, it really is a week of loss for the cinema.


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