Gérard Philipe (4 December 1922 – 25 November 1959) was a prominent French actor who appeared in 34 films between 1944 and 1959. Active in both theater and cinema, he was, until his untimely death, one of the main stars of the post-war period. His image has remained youthful and romantic, which has made him one of the icons of French cinema.
Philipe in 1955
|Died||25 November 1959 (aged 36)|
|Spouse(s)||Nicole Fourcade (1951–1959) 2 children|
Life and careerEdit
Born Gérard Albert Philip in Cannes in a well-off family, he was of one quarter Czech ancestry from his maternal grandmother. His father, Marcel Philip (1893–1973), was a barrister and businessman in Cannes; his mother was Maria Elisa "Minou" Philip, née Vilette (1894–1970). On his mother's advice, in 1944 Gérard changed his surname from "Philip" to "Philipe".
As a teenager Philipe took acting lessons before going to Paris to study at the Conservatoire of Dramatic Art.
Philippe had a lead role in The Idiot (1946), an adaptation of the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, co-starring Edwige Feuillère for director Georges Lampin. This was widely seen overseas and established Philippe as a leading man. He was in Ouvert pour cause d'inventaire (1946), a short film that was an early work for Alain Renais.
He went on to star in La Chartreuse de Parme (1948) for director Christian-Jacque, which was even more popular than Devil in the Flesh. He followed it with Such a Pretty Little Beach (1949) for Yves Allegret; All Roads Lead to Rome (1949), a reunion with Presle, for Jean Boyer; and Beauty and the Devil (1950) for Rene Clair.
In 1951, Philipe married Nicole Fourcade (1917–1990), an actress/writer, with whom he had two children. She adopted the pseudonym, Anne Philipe, and wrote about her husband in two books, the first called Souvenirs (1960) and a second biography titled Le Temps d'un soupir (No Longer Than a Sigh, 1963).
Philippe was in Juliette, or Key of Dreams (1951) with Suzanne Cloutier for Marcel Carne; The Seven Deadly Sins (1952), an all-star anthology film; and Fan Fan the Tulip (1953), a swashbuckling adventure with Gina Lollobrigida for Christian-Jacque which was very popular.
He was in Beauties of the Night (1952), again with Lollobrigida, and Martine Carol, directed by Clair; The Proud and the Beautiful (1953) with Michele Morgan; two more all-star anthologies: It Happened in the Park (1953) and Royal Affairs in Versailles (1954).
He died from liver cancer while working on a film project in Paris, a few days short of his 37th birthday. (His doctors concealed from him the nature of his disease.) In accordance with his last wishes, he is buried, dressed in the costume of Don Rodrigue (The Cid), in the village cemetery in Ramatuelle, Var near the Mediterranean Sea coast.
To commemorate the centenary of the cinema in 1995, the French government issued a series of limited edition coins that included a 100 franc coin bearing the image of Philipe. Among the most popular French actors of modern times, he has been elevated to mythic status in his homeland, not least because of his early death at the peak of his popularity.
In 1986, his portrait appeared on a French commemorative postage stamp. There is a film festival named in his honour as well as a number of theatres and schools (such as the College Gérard Philipe - Cogolin) in various parts of France. In Germany he has been scarcely less respected than in his native country; a cultural centre is named after him in Berlin.
- Perisset, Maurice (1979). Alain Lefeuvre (ed.). Gérard Philipe ou la jeunesse du monde. Nice. p. 22.
- THE FRENCH CINEMA SINCE THE LIBERATION Hackett, Hazel. Sight and Sound; London Vol. 15, Iss. 58, (Summer 1946): 48.
- THE FRENCH THEATRE: Old Vic's Success; Existentialist's Herror Play Watt, Alexander. The Scotsman (1921-1950); Edinburgh, Scotland [Edinburgh, Scotland]09 Dec 1946: 4.
- Of Local Origin New York Times 04 Feb 1948: 28.
- FILMLAND BRIEFS Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]02 June 1948: 23.
- FRENCH FILM WINS PRIZE AT BRUSSELS New York Times 1 July 1947: 30.
- "Box Office Success of Gerard Philippe films". Box Office Story.
- Young Men Produce War Film Los Angeles Times 6 Dec 1953: E3.
- No. 1 in Europe, Gina Throws Curves at U.S. Jacks, Allen. Los Angeles Times 1 Mar 1953: D4.
- BY WAY OF REPORT: Robert Sylvester's New Novel -- 'Kong' Again By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times 6 July 1952: X3.
- "GALLIC CENSORS POUNCE; MLLE. 'B. B.' SUBSIDES" by CYNTHIA GRENIER, PARIS. New York Times 11 Oct 1959: X9.
- GERARD PHILIPPE'S LAST FILM Lennon, Peter. The Irish Times 25 Jan 1960: 8.
- "Gérard Philipe". Find A Grave. October 25, 1999.
Stupková, Laurence (April 12, 2001). "Gérard Philippe : comédien français très aimé des Tchèques". Prague.http://www.radio.cz/fr/rubrique/faits/gerard-philippe-comedien-francais-tres-aime-des-tcheques
- Capua, Michelangelo (2008). Gérard Philipe. Alessandria: Edizioni Falsopiano.
- Sadoul, Georges (1962). Gérard Philipe. Belin: Henschelverlag.
- Le Coz, Martine (March–April 1997). "Gérard Philipe, héros stendhalien". Avant-Scène du Cinéma. Paris.
- Stupková, Laurence (April 12, 2001). "Gérard Philippe : comédien français très aimé des Tchèques". Prague.http://www.radio.cz/fr/rubrique/faits/gerard-philippe-comedien-francais-tres-aime-des-tcheques