Marcel Camus

Marcel Camus (21 April 1912 – 13 January 1982) was a French film director. He is best known for Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus), which won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival[1] and the 1960 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.[2]

Marcel Camus
Born(1912-04-21)21 April 1912
Died13 January 1982(1982-01-13) (aged 69)
Paris, France
Resting placePère Lachaise Cemetery
OccupationFilm director
Years active1957 –1982
Spouse(s)Marpessa Dawn (divorced)
Lourdes de Oliveira


Camus was born in Chappes, Ardennes, France and died in Paris. He studied art and intended to become an art teacher. However, World War II interrupted his plans. He spent part of the war in a German prisoner-of-war camp.[3]

Prior to directing films, Camus assisted filmmakers in France, including Jacques Feyder, Luis Buñuel, and Jacques Becker.[4][5] He directed nearly a dozen films, including Orfeu Negro (also known as Black Orpheus), which won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival[1] and the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film[2]

In 1960, Camus made a second Brazlilian-themed film, Os bandeirantes.[5] Twenty years after Orfeu Negro, Camus returned to Brazilian themes for what would prove to be his last film, Bahia (also known as Otalia da Bahia and Os pastores da noite), based on a novel by Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado.[6][7] These films, however, failed to recapture the success of Orfeu Negro. In 1970, Camus had a moderate success with a World War II comedy, Le Mur de l'Atlantique (The Atlantic Wall), starring the well-known French comedian Bourvil.[5] Camus ended his career working primarily in television.[5]

Camus married one of the stars of Orfeu Negro, Marpessa Dawn, but they divorced shortly thereafter. He then married another actress from Orfeu Negro, Lourdes de Oliveira.[8] Camus and de Oliveira have two children, including the writer Jean-Christophe Camus.[8][9]

Camus is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.



  1. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Black Orpheus". Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b "The 32nd Academy Awards (1960) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  3. ^ "Marcel Camus Fiche Personalite". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Biography - Movies - Marcel Camus". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "Marcel Camus". Encyclopedia Universialis. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  6. ^ Canby, Vincent (21 March 1986). "THE SCREEN: 'BAHIA,' FROM MARCEL CAMUS". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Os pastores da noites". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.[dead link]
  8. ^ a b Jotabê Medeiros (2009-10-09). "LOURDES & MARCEL & O FILHO QUE TIVERAM". Farofafa (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  9. ^ Mulheres Do Cinema Brasileiro (2020). "Lourdes de Oliveira". Mulheres do Cinema Brasileiro (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2023-03-21.

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