Philippe Noiret

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Philippe Noiret
Philippe Noiret 2000 crop.jpg
Noiret in 2000
Born 1 October 1930
Lille, Nord, France
Died 23 November 2006(2006-11-23) (aged 76)
Paris, France
Years active 1948–2006
Spouse(s) Monique Chaumette (1958–2006; his death)

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1990 Nuovo cinema Paradiso

Best Actor
1976 Le Vieux fusil
1990 La Vie et rien d'autre'

Philippe Noiret (French pronunciation: ​[filip nwaʁɛ]; 1 October 1930 – 23 November 2006) was a French film actor.

Life and career[edit]

Noiret was born in Lille, France, the son of Lucy (Heirman) and Pierre Noiret, a clothing company representative.[1] He was an indifferent scholar and attended several prestigious Paris schools, including the Lycée Janson de Sailly. He failed several times to pass his baccalauréat exams, so he decided to study theater. He trained at the Centre Dramatique de l'Ouest and toured with the Théâtre National Populaire for seven years, where he met Monique Chaumette, whom he married in 1962. During that time he developed a career as a nightclub comedian in a duo act with Jean-Pierre Darras, in which he played Louis XIV in an extravagant wig opposite Darras as the dramatist Jean Racine. In these roles they satirized the politics of Charles de Gaulle, Michel Debré and André Malraux.

Noiret's screen debut (1949) was an uncredited role in Gigi. In 1955 he appeared in La Pointe Courte directed by Agnès Varda. She said later - "I discovered in him a breadth of talent rare in a young actor." Sporting a pudding-basin haircut, Noiret played a lovelorn youth in the southern fishing port of Sète. He later admitted : "I was scared stiff, and fumbled my way through the part - I am totally absent in the film." He was not cast again until 1960 in Zazie dans le Métro. After playing second leads in Georges Franju's Thérèse Desqueyroux in 1962, and in Le Capitaine Fracasse, from Théophile Gautier's romantic adventure, he became a regular on the French screen, without being cast in major roles until A Matter of Resistance directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau in 1966. He became a star in France with Yves Robert's Alexandre le Bienheureux

"When I began to have success in the movies," Noiret told film critic Joe Leydon at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989, "it was a big surprise for me. For actors of my generation—all the men of 50 or 60 now in French movies—all of us were thinking of being stage actors. Even people like Jean-Paul Belmondo, all of us, we never thought we'd become movie stars. So, at the beginning, I was just doing it for the money, and because they asked me to do it. But after two or three years of working on movies, I started to enjoy it, and to be very interested in it. And I'm still very interested in it, because I've never really understood how it works. I mean, what is acting for the movies? I've never really understood."[2]

Noiret was cast primarily as the Everyman character, although he did not hesitate to accept controversial roles, such as in La Grande Bouffe, a film about suicide by overeating, which caused a scandal at Cannes in 1973, and in 1991 André Téchiné cast Noiret in J'embrasse pas (I Don't Kiss), as a melancholy old homosexual obsessed with young male flesh. And in 1987, in The Gold Rimmed Glasses based on Giorgio Bassani's novel about the cramped social life of post-war Ferrara in Italy, he played an elderly and respectable doctor who is gradually suspected of being a covert homosexual with a passion for a beautiful young man (Rupert Everett). Noiret won his first César Award for his role in Vieux Fusil in 1976. His second César came in 1990 for his role in Life and Nothing But.

Noiret appeared in Hollywood-financed films by Alfred Hitchcock (Topaz), George Cukor (Justine), Ted Kotcheff (Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?), Peter Yates (Murphy's War) and Anatole Litvak (The Night of the Generals). But he may be best known for his roles as Alfredo in Cinema Paradiso (1988), Pablo Neruda in Il Postino, and Major Dellaplane in Bertrand Tavernier's Life and Nothing But.[3]

By the time of his death from cancer in Paris in 2006, aged 76, Noiret had more than 100 film roles to his credit. He often joked with interviewers about his virtually non-stop work schedule, telling Joe Leydon in 1989: "You never know what will be the success of a film. And it's always comfortable to be making another film when you're reading terrible notices for your last film. You can say, 'Well, that's a pity, but I'm already working on another job.' It helps in your living. You see, if you're only making one film a year, or one film every year and a half, it's hard. Because when it's a failure, what do you do? What do you become? You're dead.”[2]


Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Director Notes
1949 Gigi Jacqueline Audry Uncredited
1951 Olivia
1952 Agence matrimoniale Jean-Paul Le Chanois Uncredited
1955 La Pointe courte (a.k.a. The Short Point) Lui Agnès Varda
1960 Zazie dans le Métro Uncle Gabriel Louis Malle
Ravissante Maurice Robert Lamoureux
1961 Captain Fracasse Hérode Pierre Gaspard-Huit
Le Rendez-vous Inspecteur Maillard Jean Delannoy
All the Gold in the World Victor Hardy René Clair
Famous Love Affairs Le roi Louis XIV Michel Boisrond (segment "Lauzun")
1962 Comme un poisson dans l'eau (fr) (a.k.a. Like a Fish in the Water) Lucien Barlemont André Michel
Le Crime ne paie pas Clovis Hugues Gérard Oury (segment "L'affaire Hugues")
Thérèse Desqueyroux Bernard Desqueyroux Georges Franju
Les Faux Jetons (fr) Bellini Lucio Fulci
1963 Ballade pour un voyou (fr) L'inspecteur Fabien Mathieu Claude-Jean Bonnardot
La Porteuse de pain Jacques Garaud / Paul Harmant Maurice Cloche
1964 Mort, où est ta victoire ? Brassy Hervé Bromberger
Monsieur Edmond Bernadac Jean-Paul Le Chanois
Les amoureux du France Narrator Pierre Grimblat / François Reichenbach Voice
Clémentine chérie (fr) Le directeur général Pierre Chevalier
Cyrano and d'Artagnan King Louis XIII Abel Gance
1965 Les Copains (fr) (a.k.a. The Buddies ) Bénin Yves Robert
Lady L Ambroise Gérôme Peter Ustinov
1966 A Matter of Resistance Jérôme Jean-Paul Rappeneau
The Sultans Michou Jean Delannoy
Le Voyage du père Le voyageur mécontent Denys de La Patellière
Tendre Voyou Bibi Dumonceaux Jean Becker
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? Jean-Jacques Georges William Klein
1967 Night of the Generals Inspector Morand Anatole Litvak
Woman Times Seven Victor Vittorio De Sica (segment "Snow")
L'une et l'autre André René Allio
1968 Alexandre le bienheureux Alexandre Yves Robert
Adolphe ou l'Âge tendre (fr) Marc de Pourtalain Bernard Toublanc-Michel
1969 Clérambard Hector de Clérambard Yves Robert
The Assassination Bureau Monsieur Lucoville Basil Dearden
Justine Pombal George Cukor
Topaz Henri Jarré Alfred Hitchcock
Mr. Freedom Moujik Man William Klein
1970 Les caprices de Marie (fr) Gabriel Philippe de Broca
1971 Murphy's War Louis Brezon Peter Yates
Les Aveux les plus doux (fr) Inspecteur Muller Édouard Molinaro
We Are All in Temporary Liberty' Judge Francesco Langellone Manlio Scarpelli
1972 La Vieille Fille (a.k.a. The Old Maid) Gabriel Marcassus Jean-Pierre Blanc
La Mandarine (fr) Georges Édouard Molinaro
A Time for Loving Marcel Dutarte-Dubreuilh Christopher Miles
Le trèfle à cinq feuilles (fr) Alfred Edmond Freess
L'Attentat (a.k.a. Plot) Pierre Garcin Yves Boisset
1973 Le Serpent Lucien Berthon Henri Verneuil
La Grande Bouffe Philippe Marco Ferreri
Poil de carotte François Lepic Henri Graziani
1974 L'Horloger de Saint-Paul (a.k.a. The Clockmaker) Michel Descombes Bertrand Tavernier
Touche pas à la femme blanche! (a.k.a. Don't Touch the White Woman!) General Terry Marco Ferreri
Les Gaspards Gaspard de Montfermeil Pierre Tchernia
Un nuage entre les dents (fr) Malisard Marco Pico
Le Secret (a.k.a. The Secret) Thomas Berthelot Robert Enrico
1975 Playing with Fire Georges de Saxe / Ses doubles Alain Robbe-Grillet
Que la fête commence (a.k.a. Let Joy Reign Supreme) Philippe II, Duke of Orléans Bertrand Tavernier
Amici miei (a.k.a. My Friends) Giorgio Perozzi Mario Monicelli
Le vieux fusil (a.k.a. The Old Gun) Julien Dandieu Robert Enrico
1976 Le Juge et l'Assassin (a.k.a. The Judge and the Assassin) Judge Rousseau Bertrand Tavernier
Monsieur Albert Albert Jacques Renard
Il comune senso del pudore Giuseppe Costanzo Alberto Sordi
Il deserto dei Tartari (a.k.a. The Desert of the Tartars) The General Valerio Zurlini
Une Femme à sa Fenêtre (a.k.a. A Woman at Her Window) Raoul Malfosse Pierre Granier-Deferre
1977 The Purple Taxi Philippe Marcal Yves Boisset
Tendre Poulet (fr) Antoine Lemercier Philippe de Broca
1978 Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? Moulineau Ted Kotcheff
Le Témoin (a.k.a. The Witness) Robert Maurisson Jean-Pierre Mocky
La Barricade du point du jour (fr) Eugène Pottier René Richon
1979 Due pezzi di pane (a.k.a. Happy Hobos) Peppe Dorè Sergio Citti
Rue du Pied de Grue (fr) Le père Jean-Jacques Grand-Jouan
1980 On a volé la cuisse de Jupiter (a.k.a. Jupiter's Thigh) Antoine Lemercier Philippe de Broca
A Week's Vacation Michel Descombes Bertrand Tavernier
Pile ou Face (fr) Louis Baroni Robert Enrico
1981 Tre fratelli (a.k.a. Three Brothers) Raffaele Giuranna Francesco Rosi
Il faut tuer Birgitt Haas (fr) Athanase Laurent Heynemann (fr)
Coup de Torchon Lucien Cordier Bertrand Tavernier
1982 L'étoile du nord (a.k.a. North Star) Edouard Binet Pierre Granier-Deferre
Amici miei - Atto IIº (a.k.a. All My Friends Part 2) Giorgio Perozzi Mario Monicelli
1983 L'Africain (fr) Victor Philippe de Broca
L'Ami de Vincent (fr) (a.k.a. A Friend of Vincent) Albert Palm Pierre Granier-Deferre
Le Grand Carnaval (fr) Étienne Labrouche Alexandre Arcady
1984 Fort Saganne Dubreuilh Alain Corneau
Souvenirs, Souvenirs Le proviseur Ariel Zeitoun
Les Ripoux (a.k.a. My New Partner) René Boisrond Claude Zidi
Qualcosa di biondo (a.k.a. Aurora) Dr. André Feretti Maurizio Ponzi
1985 L'Été prochain (a.k.a. Next Summer) Edouard Nadine Trintignant
Le Quatrième Pouvoir (fr) Yves Dorget Serge Leroy
Les Rois du gag Himself Claude Zidi Uncredited
1986 Let's Hope It's a Girl Count Leonardo Mario Monicelli
La Femme secrète (fr) Pierre Franchin, le peintre Sébastien Grall
Round Midnight Redon Bertrand Tavernier
Twist again à Moscou  (fr) Igor Tataïev Jean-Marie Poiré
Laughter in the Dark Tony Richardson
1987 La famiglia (a.k.a. The Family) Jean Luc Ettore Scola
Masques (a.k.a. Masks) Christian Legagneur Claude Chabrol
Gli occhiali d'oro (a.k.a. The Gold Rimmed Glasses) Doctor Athos Fadigati Giuliano Montaldo
Noyade interdite (fr) (a.k.a. Widow's Walk) Inspecteur Paul Molinat Pierre Granier-Deferre
1988 Il frullo del passero Gabriele Battistini Gianfranco Mingozzi
Chouans! Savinien de Kerfadec Philippe de Broca
Young Toscanini Dom Pedro II Franco Zeffirelli
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso Alfredo Giuseppe Tornatore
1989 The Return of the Musketeers Cardinal Mazarin Richard Lester
La Vie et Rien D'autre (a.k.a. Life and Nothing But) Commander Dellaplane Bertrand Tavernier
1990 Ripoux contre ripoux (a.k.a. My New Partner II) René Boisrond Claude Zidi
Dimenticare Palermo (a.k.a. The Palermo Connection) Gianni Mucci Francesco Rosi
Faux et Usage de faux Anatole Hirsch Laurent Heynemann
Uranus Watrin Claude Berri
1991 Rossini! Rossini! Gioachino Rossini Mario Monicelli
Especially on Sunday Amleto Giuseppe Tornatore (segment "Il cane blu")
J'embrasse pas (a.k.a. I Do Not Kiss) Romain André Téchiné
1992 Zuppa di pesce Alberto Fiorella Infascelli
À nous deux Toussaint Henri Graziani
Max et Jérémie Robert Maxendre Claire Devers
1993 Tango François d'Amour Patrice Leconte
1994 Grosse Fatigue Himself Michel Blanc
La Fille de d'Artagnan (a.k.a. Revenge of the Musketeers) d'Artagnan Bertrand Tavernier
Il Postino: The Postman Pablo Neruda Michael Radford
1995 Le roi de Paris Victor Derval Dominique Maillet
Les Milles the General Sébastien Grall (fr)
Facciamo paradiso Bertelli, Father of Claudia Mario Monicelli
1996 Une trop bruyante solitude Hanta Véra Caïs
Les Grands Ducs Victor Vialat Patrice Leconte
Fantôme avec chauffeur (fr) Philippe Bruneau-Teissier Gérard Oury
Balthus Through the Looking Glass Himself Damian Pettigrew
1997 Marianna Ucrìa Duca Signoretto Roberto Faenza
Les Palmes de M. Schutz Monsieur Schutz Claude Pinoteau
Soleil (fr) (a.k.a. Sun) Joseph Lévy Roger Hanin
Le Bossu (a.k.a. On Guard) Philippe d'Orléans Philippe de Broca
2000 Le Pique-nique de Lulu Kreutz (fr) Joseph Steg Didier Martiny
2002 Step by Step Louis Chevalier Philippe Blasband
2003 Le Chien, le Général et les Oiseaux (fr) Narrator Francis Nielsen Voice
Père et Fils (fr) Léo Michel Boujenah
Les Côtelettes (a.k.a. The Chops) Léonce Grison Bertrand Blier
Ripoux 3 (fr) René Boisrond / Jean Morzini Claude Zidi
2005 Edy Louis Stéphan Guérin-Tillié
2007 Trois amis (fr) Serano Michel Boujenah (final film role)


  1. ^ "Philippe Noiret Biography (1930-)". 
  2. ^ a b [1], 23 November 2006
  3. ^ [2], 27 November 2006

External links[edit]