Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y = Yves Montand, Actor - A to Z

A Leading Man. . . Actor, Singer



He was the romantic Italian singer who became a French actor.  Born as Ivo Livi  outside of Florence Italy, October 13, 1921, he died November 9, 1991 at the age of 70.  Montand went on to international recognition as a singer and actor, starring in numerous films. His crooner songs, especially those about Paris, became instant classics.


Montand's family left Italy for France in 1923.  He grew up in Marseilles, where, as a young man, he worked in his sister's barber shop and later on the docks. He began a career in show business as a music-hall singer.  In 1944, he was discovered by Edith Piaf in Paris and she made him part of her act, becoming his mentor and lover.


 After working in Piaf's nightclub act and appearing with her in the 1946 film Star Without Light, Montand gained stature as a solo actor/singer, proving his dramatic mettle in Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear (1955).  The actor enjoyed a career renaissance as a character player in the 1980s.


In 1951, Montand married actress Simone Signoret, a union that lasted until her death in 1985.  His second marriage was to Carole Amiel (1987-1991) who gave him a son, his only child.  He had a number of affairs, the most notable being Marilyn Monroe while she was married to Arthur Miller.


Montand embarked on an affair with Marilyn Monroe during filming of the ill fated film Let's Make Love. He had been personally recommended by Arthur Miller (who was married to Monroe) after Miller saw him acting in a foreign movie version of The Crucible called Les Sorcières de Salem. Montand always expressed regret over the affair as he considered Miller a 'good friend'. 

As Shirley MacLaine wrote in her 1995 memoir, My Lucky Stars, she and Montand maintained an affair during the filming of My Geisha.

In the French dubbings of Looney Tunes, the character Pepe Le Pew is an Italian skunk named 'Pepe le putois'.  The voice characterization was often based on Yves Montand's performances.  Interesting that his character was portrayed as a skunk.

After filming one day, he died from a heart attack.  On the very last day, after his very last shot.  They were doing retakes.  He finished what he was doing and then he died, very quietly.  He is buried next to Simone Signoret in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Movies: Grand Prix, 1966; My Geisha 1962.  That's a sampling.

DG's Theme:  Paris, Etc,  (Art, Film, Places, and People)


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Have you heard of Yves Montand (a retro 50s-60s French film actor)?   Simone Signoret?  Have you seen Grand Prix?  For a sample of his crooning, listen to the youtube below.  Any comments?  Did you like Pepi Le Pew?

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YouTube
YVES MONTAND - Les Feuilles Mortes  (French retro crooner)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo1C6E7jbPw&feature=related

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References:


http://www.qpicture.com/artist/yves-montand  Photo of Yves Montand


http://filmsdefrance.com/FDF_ymontand.html   Yves Montand Films

*****

17 comments:

  1. i did see that movie--and as for his affair with miller's wife--i guess no good deed goes unpunished--interesting post

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    1. Thanks, Lynn, I meant to post the reply below, but hit the wrong button.

      Naughtiness takes two. No occupation is immune, some just offer more opportunities.

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  2. I haven't heard of him. I feel bad. I think I should. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. When the worldly Frenchman spoke, women swooned, and he could sing too. Could Edith and Marilyn have been wrong?

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  3. Bad boys surface in a variety of occupations, as kings, politicians, actors, musicians, authors, and so on. If they didn't, how would we recognize the good ones?

    One more post to go. . .

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  4. He was one gorgeous man! And yes, I have seen the films, know about him, his wife Simone, and his affairs. Who could resist a man like this? Only thing I didn't know what that he was Italian. I guess he'd be the one who could have followed me anywhere, any time.

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    1. I like his voice, and who could resist Pepe le Pew?

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  5. He was the inspiration for Pepe? Shame he died while filming a movie.

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    1. The voice, the smooze, all based on Yves. As soon as I heard his voice, I thought, Pepi!

      I like the fact that the French made him an Italian skunk. (their pun)

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  6. I liked Yves Montand, but remember him most for the movie with Marilyn Monroe, which definitely was not a great film.

    Just dropping by on my A to Z tour...will we ever get through the whole list?

    Patricia

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    1. One more day, and I'm looking forward to a break, too. Two stars don't always make a good film.

      Hang in there, Patricia.

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  7. I love Yve's Montand, and Maurice Chevallier. I love French actors. They're so sexy.

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    1. Maurice Chevalier is one of my fave retro actors, as he was in GIGI, one of my fave movies. (I'm a big fan of Leslie Caron as well.)

      And, Pepi was a good incarnation of Yves. The little skunk.

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  8. I am a Looney Tunes fan. I have a Bugs Bunny tattoo on my left arm, and this post got really interesting to me when you mentioned Pepe le Pew ;-)

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    1. Funny how we all like little Pepi. He was so persistent. . .

      (Hubby is a Daffy Duck fan - remember Duck season, Rabbit season?)

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  9. I'm afraid to say I have not heard of him but still found the post really interesting - I did use to sit and watch marilyn Monroe films with my grandad so perhaps I just dont remember him! Stopping by from the A-Z Challenge to say Hi
    www.theramblingpages.blogspot.co.uk x

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  10. Hi DG - I have heard of him ... but not known about his life history .. what a wonderful way to go - quietly at the end of a film - sad he was young too. I'm not sure I've seen the film ..

    Great addition to your postings on France .. thanks so much - cheers Hilary

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