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Jean Rochefort Poster

Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 29 April 1930Dinan, Cote-d'Armor, France
Birth NameJean Raoul Robert Rochefort
Nicknames Mon petit Jeannot
Jeannot
Height 5' 11¼" (1.81 m)

Mini Bio (1)

French character star Jean Rochefort expressed an interest in acting early in life. Born in 1930, he trained at the Paris Conservatoire but had to halt his studies due to military service. Relocating to Paris, he developed a minor name for himself in cabaret and stage plays. He also worked with the Grenier-Hussenot company at this time and acted in TV drama. Throughout his career Rochefort would return sporadically to the theatre as both actor and director. Films took his immediate focus in the late 50s and he became an audience favorite in roguish costumers and adventure films, particularly those of director Philippe De Broca, including Swords of Blood (1962), Up to His Ears (1965) and The Devil by the Tail (1969). By the 70s, Rochefort's reputation as a comedy star of sex farces and black comedies was firmly established, culminating with his classic roles in The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972), Conspiratia (1974), The Phantom of Liberty (1974), Ugly, Dirty and Bad (1976) and Pardon Mon Affaire (1976). He won the Cesar Award (French equivalent of the 'Oscar') for best supporting actor in The Clockmaker of St. Paul (1974) and the best actor trophy for Le Crabe-Tambour (1977). Though he branched out internationally in later years, he earned more kudos for his work in French-made films, especially those directed by Patrice Leconte: Tandem (1987), The Hairdresser's Husband (1990) and the Oscar-nominated Ridicule (1996). Most recently he won praise co-starring as a retired teacher of poetry opposite actor Johnny Hallyday in Man on the Train (2002). Despite his obvious comedic electricity, he has touched audiences as well playing dying naval captains, paraplegics, and timorous, elderly dreamers, often drawing both humor and pathos simultaneously from his characters. Not as well known by America's standards, his sunken, weary features, ever-searching eyes, ever-present moustache and prominent nose are unmistakable in the over 80 films he's graced. A lifetime dream was to play Don Quixote on film and his wish was nearly fulfilled until he took seriously ill and the project had to be indefinitely shelved after only a few days of filming. Rochefort received a special life's achievement Cesar award in 1999.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Alexandra Mosava (16 June 1960 - ?) (2 children)
Francoise Vidal (? - present) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Member of jury Festival International de Cannes 2003
Was cast as Don Quixote, but became seriously ill during the ill-fated making of a failed movie that was going to be called "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". That and other circumstances led to the production being halted and the abandoning of director Terry Gilliam's film. A documentary was made about these occurrences, called Lost in La Mancha (2002) .
His other passion is horses. In 2004 he became a consultant on horseback riding for French TV.
Has five children: Marie, Julien, Pierre, Clémence and Louise.
He has a son, Pierre, born 1981, from his relationship with actress Nicole Garcia.
Former student of CNSAD.
He learned English seven months before the start of the production "The Man who Killed Don Quixote".
He was close friends with Philippe Noiret. They appeared in 11 movies together.
Totò nicknamed him 'Signor Roccaforte' on the set of Le belle famiglie (1964).
He's a passionate horse breeder and the owner of the renowned riding stables 'Le Haras de Villequoy'. Within the years, his stable boys included Guillaume Canet and future Oscar winner Jean Dujardin.
Close friends with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean-Pierre Marielle. The three of them have known each other since their schooldays at the CNSAD (The Paris Conservatoire) and have been inseparable ever since.
He was good friends with Delphine Seyrig, who personally chose him as her partner in a theatrical production of "Cet animal étrange" (a Gabriel Arout play based on a series of short stories by Tchekhov) and went on to work with him on many other occasions, both on screen and stage. Rochefort always considered Delphine a crucial figure of his life, stating that the honor of being her partner helped him gaining a lot of visibility and respect as an actor. He was so devastated by Delphine's death that he coined the term 'orphan-brother' to describe his feelings.
In his autobiography 'Ce genre de choses', he offers an hilarious recounting of his meeting with Harold Pinter: he and Delphine Seyrig had flown to London to convince the writer to give his permission for his plays 'The Lover', 'The Collection' and 'Old Times' to be performed in France for the first time. During their meeting at the bar of the Savoy Hotel, Rochefort, who could barely speak English, was just repeating the sentence 'We are before a wall' with regards to the stubbornness of Pinter's refusal, something that was deeply annoying the author. It was only thanks to Delphine's charms and communication skills that Pinter eventually reconsidered and gave his approval to the project. Rochefort thinks that Delphine went on to nickname him 'My Little Jeannot' because of his blunderer side.

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