Michel Bouquet (born 6 November 1925) is a French stage and film actor. He has appeared in more than 100 films since 1947. He won the Best Actor European Film Award for Toto the Hero in 1991 and two Best Actor Césars for How I Killed My Father (2001) and The Last Mitterrand (2005). He also received the Molière Award for Best Actor for Les côtelettes in 1998, then again for Exit the King in 2005. In 2014, he was awarded the Honorary Molière for the sum of his career. He received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 2018.
|Born||6 November 1925|
Michel François Pierre Bouquet was born on 6 November 1925 in Paris. When was seven years old, he was sent to a boarding school where he stayed until the age of 14. He aspired to become a doctor but had to quit school at the age of 15 after his father had been taken prisoner during World War II. Bouquet worked as a baker's apprentice, then a bank clerk, to provide for the family. After a short stay in Lyon, he returned with his mother to Paris. Marie Bouquet was passionate about theater, and that helped the young Bouquet to find his vocation. He took acting classes under the tutelage of Maurice Escande, a member of the Comédie Française, and made his stage debut in the play La première étape in 1944. Then he studied at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris where he met Gérard Philippe.
In the mid-1940s Michel Bouquet began working with the playwright Jean Anouilh and director André Barsacq, who staged plays at the Théâtre de l'Atelier in Montmartre. In 1946, Anouilh gave Bouquet a part in Roméo and Jeannette, followed by The Rendez-vous of Senlis and The Invitation to the Castle in 1947. In the 1950s, the actor met another stage director, Jean Vilar, with whom he would frequently collaborate. Bouquet played many roles from the classical repertoire at the Festival d'Avignon, created by Vilar in 1947 (Henry IV in 1950, The Tragedy of King Richard II in 1953, and The Miser in 1962). Bouquet regularly worked with Anouilh until the early 1970s, then helped popularize in France the works of the British author Harold Pinter: The Collection in 1965, The Birthday Party in 1967 and No Man's Land in 1979.
At the same time, at the end of the 1970s, Michel Bouquet was appointed professor at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and taught there until 1990. In the 1980s-1990s, he returned to the Théâtre de l'Atelier where he once began his career. In 1994, he played in Exit the King by Eugene Ionesco, the role he would perform many times until 2014. In 1998 he received the Molière Award for Best Actor for Bertrand Blier’s Les côtelettes, then again for Exit the King in 2005. In 2014, he was awarded the Honorary Molière for the sum of his career. A year later, the actor received accolades for his performance in Taking Sides by the British playwright Ronald Harwood. Bouquet announced his retirement from stage in 2019.
Though Bouquet made his screen debut in 1947, his film career took slower to develop. In 1949, he appeared in Pattes blanches, adapted by Jean Anouilh from his own play and directed by Jean Grémillon, then in Henri-Georges Clouzot's Manon (1950) and Anouilh’s Deux sous de violettes (1951). Three years later, he acted in Abel Gance's historical melodrama La Tour de Nesle. In 1955, he narrated Alain Resnais' documentary Night and Fog. In 1965, he worked for the first time with director Claude Chabrol in Our Agent Tiger. Bouquet went on to act in several Chabrol films and received wide acclaim for his performances in The Unfaithful Wife, The Breach, and Just Before Nightfall.
With François Truffaut he shoots as Comolli, the private detective murdered by Jean-Paul Belmondo in Mississippi Mermaid (1969) and as one of the victims of Jeanne Moreau in The Bride Wore Black. For Chabrol he played the husband deceived by Stéphane Audran in The Unfaithful Wife, followed by Audran's wicked Father-in-law in The Breach. Bouquet and Audran worked together in four Chabrol films. In the 1970s Bouquet is the obstinate cop who terrorized Alain Delon in Deux hommes dans la ville (1972), candidate for legislative elections in Defense de savoir (1973) by Nadine Trintignant, the hospitalized press boss who is surrounded by Claude Jade in Les Anneaux de Bicêtre (1976), but in the same year he was also the formidable billionaire in the comedy Le Jouet by Francis Veber. In this decade he played two dark roles for André Cayatte, in Il n'y a pas de fumée sans feu and La Raison d'État. Another film on the political subject is Plot by Yves Boisset. In the 1980s, he embodied a rotten notary and Stéphane Audran's enemy in Cop au Vin (1986), still with Chabrol. In 1982 he took on the role of Javert in Robert Hossein's adaptation of Les Miserables with Lino Ventura as Jean Valjean and Jean Carmet as Thénardier in 1984, and with such talent that many Hugolians consider this interpretation as the embodiment even by Javert.
Over the years, Bouquet recorded his readings of the works of Cervantes, Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Sartre and other authors that were released on discs. An audio book of his readings of 13 selected fables of Jean de La Fontaine was released in 2019 to wide critical acclaim.
Michel Bouquet was married twice. His first wife was actress Ariane Borg, whom he divorced in 1967. His second wife is Juliette Carré, also an actress, who often shares stage with him. He is not related to the actress Carole Bouquet.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2002||César Awards||Best Actor||How I Killed My Father (Comment j'ai tué mon père)||Won|
|2006||César Awards||Best Actor||The Last Mitterrand (Le Promeneur du Champs-de-Mars)||Won|
|2014||César Awards||Best Actor||Renoir||Nominated|
European Film AwardEdit
|1991||European Film Awards||Best Actor||Toto le Héros||Won|
Globes de Cristal AwardEdit
|2006||Globes de Cristal Award||Best Actor||The Last Mitterrand||Nominated|
|1998||Molière Awards||Best Actor||Les Côtelettes||Won|
|2005||Molière Awards||Best Actor||Le Roi se meurt||Won|
|2014||Molière Awards||Honorary||For his career||Won|
|1987||Molière Awards||Best Actor||Le Malade imaginaire||Nominated|
|1988||Molière Awards||Best Actor||Le Malade imaginaire||Nominated|
|2000||Molière Awards||Best Actor||Taking Sides||Nominated|
|2007||Molière Awards||Best Actor||The Miser||Nominated|
Bouquet was made Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1983, promoted to Officer in 1996, Commander in 2007, Grand Officer in 2013, and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor on 13 July 2018.
- "Michel Bouquet - Cinémathèque française". cinema.encyclopedie.personnalites.bifi.fr. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- Renault, Gilles (10 October 2017). "Michel Bouquet, persistant". Libération.fr (in French). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Katz, Ephraim (1994). The film encyclopedia (2nd ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-273089-4. OCLC 29386631.
- "Michel Bouquet - La biographie de Michel Bouquet avec Gala.fr". Gala.fr (in French). Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- "Michel Bouquet". Premiere.fr (in French). Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- "Michel Bouquet : biographie, actualités et émissions France Culture". France Culture (in French). Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- "The Collection, Paris, 1965". www.haroldpinter.org. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "The Birthday Party, Paris, 1967". www.haroldpinter.org. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Molières: le retour des récompenses et hommages". RFI. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
- "Michel Bouquet, 90 ans, tout en subtilité dans "A tort où à raison"". LExpress.fr (in French). 24 December 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- A.F.P.; Le Figaro (12 April 2019). "À 93 ans, Michel Bouquet annonce qu'il ne remontera pas sur scène". Le Figaro.fr (in French). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Canby, Vincent (11 April 1970). "Screen: A New Truffaut:'Mississippi Mermaid' Uncoils Complexly" – via NYTimes.com.
- Bamber, Martyn (21 March 2018). "The Bride Wore Black (François Truffaut, 1968)".
- Bergan, Ronald (27 March 2018). "Stéphane Audran obituary" – via www.theguardian.com.
- "DVD Review: Two Men in Town".
- "Zwischen Tod und Leben". www.filmdienst.de.
- "Das Spielzeug". www.filmdienst.de.
- "Hühnchen in Essig". www.filmdienst.de.
- "Die Legion der Verdammten (1982)". www.filmdienst.de.
- Merle, Sylvain (10 March 2019). "Jean de La Fontaine raconté par Michel Bouquet, quel bonheur !". leparisien.fr (in French). Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- "Juliette CARRE - Biographie, spectacles, films, théâtre et photos". Théâtres Parisiens Associés (in French). Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- "Décret du 13 juillet 2018 portant élévation à titre exceptionnel à la dignité de grand'croix". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). 14 July 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
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