Philippe Noiret Poster


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Overview (3)

Born in Lille, Nord, France
Died in Paris, France  (cancer)
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Philippe Noiret was one of French cinema's most familiar faces who appeared in more than 140 films in a career that spanned more than half a century.

He was born on October 1, 1930, in Lille, Nord, France, into a middle class family of shopkeepers. His father was fond of literature. Young Noiret attended the College Janson-of-Sally in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. At school, he was more interested in acting than in academics; he failed to pass his baccalaureate exams three times and left school without graduation. He studied acting at the Centre Dramatique de l'Ouest (Western Drama Theatre). There, in 1950, Noiret made his debut sharing the stage with Gérard Philipe under directorship of Roger Blin. From 1953 - 1960 Noiret was a permanent member of the troupe with the Théâtre National Populaire (TNP) in Paris. There he played over 40 roles in seven years under directorship of Jean Vilar. While there he met actress Monique Chaumette, whom he married in 1962, and they had one daughter, Frederique. At that time Noiret continued his acting career as a stand-up comedian and a night club entertainer.

Noiret made his big screen debut playing bit part in Gigi (1949), then earned his first on-screen credit in Agence matrimoniale (1952). He landed his first leading role as Lui, a government inspector, in the French New Wave film La Pointe Courte (1955) by notable female director Agnès Varda. His first big success came in 1960 with Louis Malle's film Zazie dans le Métro (1960) (aka.. Zazie in the Metro). In 1968 he became a star in France with the title role in Alexandre le bienheureux (1968). After that success, Noiret moved on with his acting career and devoted himself almost entirely to the big screen. Noiret's trademark hangdog face and his range allowed him to portray a middle-class man or an aristocrat, but not a handsome romantic hero, so he was cast primarily as the Everyman character. In La grande bouffe (1973), an allegoric film about sex orgy and suicide by overeating, which caused a scandal at Cannes in 1973, Noiret co-starred in a controversial role as suicidal judge Philippe, alongside Marcello Mastroianni.

Philippe Noiret shot to international fame with the supporting role as Alfredo, an old man who is a small town projectionist who befriends and inspires a young boy, in Cinema Paradiso (1988). He received international acclaim for his portrayal of the exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in Il Postino (1994) by director Michael Radford. Noiret won two Cesar Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars) and earned three more Cesar nominations. In 1976 he won his first Cesar for his exceptional performance as Julien Dandieu, a surgeon who kills the Nazis in revenge for the death of his wife and daughter, in The Old Gun (1975) (aka.. The Old Gun). Noiret won his second Cesar for the leading role as Major Delaplane in La vie et rien d'autre (1989) (aka.. Life and Nothing But) in 1990. Over the years, Noiret worked with all of the France's top directors. He also made excellent radio performances and popular books readings, which he narrated with his serious voice and impeccable diction. He was decorated with the Knight of the Legion of Honor.

Philippe Noiret was also known as an elegant hedonist and an avid dog lover. His other interests outside of the acting profession included art, horses, gourmet cuisine and cigars. For about 30 years he resided in his country house in the wine country near Carcassonne, in the South of France, where he generously supported the local causes. Noiret died of generalized complications of cancer on November 23, 2006, in a hospital, in Paris, and was laid to rest in Cimetière du Monparnasse in Paris, France.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Monique Chaumette (13 August 1962 - 23 November 2006) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (16)

Known for his droopy bloodhound features, in real life he was an unabashed dog lover.
Once a nightclub entertainer.
The winner of two Cesar Awards (French equivalent of the Oscars), he has never attempted stardom in Hollywood.
Trained at the Centre Dramatique de l'Ouest.
Hergé, the Belgian author/cartoonist of the world famous Tintin cartoons, felt that Noiret was the ideal choice to play a live action version of Tintin's "Captain Haddock" character.
After failing three times to pass his baccalaureate (the secondary school diploma in France) exams, he decided to study theater.
Received the Légion d'Honneur (France's highest order) in 2005.
Received a special tribute as part of the Annual Memorial tribute at The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007).
Brother-in-law of actor François Chaumette.
Uncle of actress Sarah Chaumette.
A favorite of director Bertrand Tavernier.
Noiret doesn't believe in going to rushes. He doesn't wish to see his work in fragments before the film is edited together.
Noiret played the Walter Matthau role in the Paris stage production of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple.".
Noiret entered films in 1956 after spending his first years as an actor in the French National Theater (T.N.P.).
He was the only French actor to play a major role in The Return of the Musketeers (1989). Ironically, his character Cardinal Mazarin was Italian in spite of the fact that he served as France's Chief Minister from 1642 to 1661.
In 1963, he recorded with Jean-Pierre Darras the French songs "Consuela", "Marche Grecque", "Mon Grand" and "Paris-Paname" which were written by Henri Betti (music) and Jean Cosmos (lyrics).

Personal Quotes (4)

[on Delphine Seyrig] Ah, Delphine Seyrig, everyone was in love with her... charming woman. Sad, that. That's the worst thing. It's not getting old. It's watching others disappear.
[on director Bertrand Tavernier in a 1983 interview] I am completely free with Bertrand. I can do anything I feel, and I can try anything that I think of because I know he has a good eye, and he will tell me 'no' or 'yes,' or 'not quite so.'
[on working with Simone Signoret in a 1983 interview] It was quite an experience because she is a fabulous actress, because she knows absolutely everything about movies, about what an actor can do on the screen. It's a real challenge to have someone like that in front of you. But she is quite hard to work with because she wants to be at the head of everything, and you have to remain very alert because otherwise she can eat you. Alas, it makes things difficult. You have to stay a bit out of her reach because otherwise she might just manage to devour you.
[on Annie Giradot in a 1983 interview] Annie is the easiest person imaginable to work with, but just now she is not doing so very well because she made a lot of bad films, and I think she has some problems finding good scripts. I think the best way she could come back would be to find a role in a good play. She was not very clever in some career choices she made in the last period, and she is this certain kind of woman, aways ready to do anything to help anyone. She will come back because she is an extraordinary actress. I like her very much.

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