Michel Piccoli

Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli (27 December 1925 – 12 May 2020) was a French actor, producer and film director with a career spanning 70 years.

Michel Piccoli
Michel Piccoli Cannes 2013.jpg
Michel Piccoli at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival
Born
Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli

(1925-12-27)27 December 1925
Died12 May 2020(2020-05-12) (aged 94)
OccupationActor, screenwriter, director, musician, singer
Years active1945–2015
Spouse(s)Eléonore Hirt (1954–1965)
Juliette Gréco (1966–1977)
Ludivine Clerc (1980–2020)
Signature
Piccoli signature.png

He was lauded as one of the greatest French character actors of his generation who played a wide variety of roles and worked with many acclaimed directors, being awarded with a Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival.[1][2]

Life and careerEdit

Piccoli was born in Paris to a musical family; his French mother was a pianist and his Swiss father was a violinist from the canton of Ticino.

He appeared in many different roles, from seducer to cop to gangster to Pope, in more than 170 movies. He appeared in six films directed by Luis Buñuel including Belle de Jour (1967) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), but also appeared as Brigitte Bardot's husband in Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt (1963) and as the main antagonist in Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz (1969).[3] He also appeared in many films by Claude Sautet, sometimes co-starring in them with Romy Schneider, and became a frequent collaborator of director Marco Ferreri, with which worked on several films, including Dillinger Is Dead and La Grande Bouffe.

In the 1990s, Piccoli also worked as a director on three films.[4] One of his last leading roles was his portrayal of a depressed, newly elected pope in Nanni Moretti's We Have a Pope (2011), for which he was awarded with the David di Donatello Award for Best Actor.[3]

Political viewsEdit

Piccoli was part of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés circle in the 1950s, which included Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He was a member of the French Communist Party in this era.[1] A life-long left-winger, he objected to repression in the Soviet bloc, and supported the Solidarity trade union in Poland.[2]

Personal life and deathEdit

Piccoli married three times, first to Éléonore Hirt, then for eleven years to the singer Juliette Gréco and finally to Ludivine Clerc. He had one daughter from his first marriage, Anne-Cordélia. He also had two adopted children with Ludivine Clerc.[4]

Piccoli died from complications of a stroke on 12 May 2020, at the age of 94.[5][6]

FilmographyEdit

 
Michel Piccoli in 1945
Year Title Director Role Notes
1945 The Bellman Christian-Jaque A villager Uncredited
1949 Le point du jour Louis Daquin Georges Gohelle
The Perfume of the Lady in Black Louis Daquin Lebel
1951 Without Leaving an Address Jean-Paul Le Chanois A journalist in the archives Uncredited
1954 Destinées Jean Delannoy
Christian-Jaque
Marcello Pagliero
Pasquerel (segment Jeanne)
Tout chante autour de moi Pierre Gout Reverdier
1955 Interdit de séjour Maurice de Canonge Georges
French Cancan Jean Renoir Captain Valorgueil
Bad Liaisons Alexandre Astruc An inspector
Ernst Thälmann Kurt Maetzig Rouger
The Grand Maneuver René Clair An officer Uncredited
1956 Shadow of the Guillotine Jean Delannoy The refractory priest
Death in the Garden Luis Buñuel Father Lizardi
1957 The Crucible Raymond Rouleau James Putnam
Nathalie Christian-Jaque Inspector Franck Marchal
1958 Rafles sur la ville [fr] Pierre Chenal Inspector Paul Vardier
Les copains du dimanche Henri Aisner The director of the flying club
Tabarin Richard Pottier Jacques Forestier
1959 La Bête à l'affût [fr] Pierre Chenal Commissioner Jacques Guimard
1960 La dragée haute Jean Kerchner Hugo Barsac
Le Bal des espions [fr] Michel Clément Brian Cannon
1961 Amazons of Rome Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia
Vittorio Cottafavi
Peter O'Cord
Console Publicola
Le Rendez-vous [fr] Jean Delannoy Paul
Les Petits Drames Paul Vecchiali Surgeon
1962 Adieu Philippine Jacques Rozier Actor playing 'Izquierdo' Uncredited
Climats Stellio Lorenzi François Crozant
1963 Le Doulos Jean-Pierre Melville Nuttheccio
The Day and the Hour René Clément Antoine
Contempt Jean-Luc Godard Paul Javal
1964 Diary of a Chambermaid Luis Buñuel M. Monteil
La Chance et l'Amour [fr] Bertrand Tavernier
Claude Berri
Charles L. Bitsch [fr]
Éric Schlumberger [fr]
Philippe Decharme (segment Lucky la chance)
All About Loving Jean Aurel Raoul
1965 Masquerade Basil Dearden George Sarrassin
Le Coup de grâce [fr] Jean Cayrol
Claude Durand
Capri / Bruno
The Sleeping Car Murders Costa-Gavras René Cabourg
Lady L Peter Ustinov Lecoeur
1966 The War Is Over Alain Resnais First customs inspector
Les Ruses du diable [fr] Paul Vecchiali The antique dealer
The Game Is Over Roger Vadim Alexandre Saccard
La Voleuse Jean Chapot Werner Kreuz
Les Créatures Agnès Varda Edgar Piccoli
Is Paris Burning? René Clément Edgard Pisani
1967 The Young Girls of Rochefort Jacques Demy Simon Dame
Shock Troops Costa-Gavras The Extra Man
Belle de jour Luis Buñuel Henri Husson
My Love, My Love Nadine Trintignant Marrades
1968 Benjamin Michel Deville Count Philippe de Saint-German
Danger: Diabolik Mario Bava Inspector Ginko
La Chamade Alain Cavalier Charles
La prisonnière Henri-Georges Clouzot The guest in a hurry at the opening Uncredited
1969 Dillinger Is Dead Marco Ferreri Glauco
The Milky Way Luis Buñuel Marquis de Sade
L'Invitée [fr] Vittorio De Seta François Desailly
Topaz Alfred Hitchcock Jacques Granville
1970 The Things of Life Claude Sautet Pierre Bérard
L'Invasion [fr] Yves Allégret Marcello
1971 Max et les ferrailleurs Claude Sautet Max
La Poudre d'escampette [fr] Philippe de Broca Valentin
Ten Days' Wonder Claude Chabrol Paul Regis
1972 L'udienza Marco Ferreri Father Amerin
Liza Marco Ferreri Giorgio's friend
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Luis Buñuel Minister of the Interior
Plot Yves Boisset Colonel Kassar
César and Rosalie Narrator Claude Sautet Voice
1973 La Femme en bleu Michel Deville Pierre
Themroc Claude Faraldo Themroc
Wedding in Blood Claude Chabrol Pierre Maury
La Grande Bouffe Marco Ferreri Michel
Far West Jacques Brel Indian Chief
1974 Don't Touch the White Woman! Marco Ferreri Buffalo Bill
Un amour de pluie Voix seulement Jean-Claude Brialy Voice
Le Trio infernal [fr] Francis Girod Georges Sarret
Tamaño natural [es] Luis García Berlanga Michel
The Phantom of Liberty Luis Buñuel Second Prefect
Vincent, François, Paul and the Others Claude Sautet François
E cominciò il viaggio nella vertigine Toni de Gregorio
1975 La smagliatura Peter Fleischmann Investigator
Leonor Juan Luis Buñuel Richard
Sept morts sur ordonnance Jacques Rouffio Dr. Pierre Losseray
1976 The Last Woman Marco Ferreri Michel
Todo modo Elio Petri Lui
F comme Fairbanks Maurice Dugowson Etienne
Mado Claude Sautet Simon Léotard
1977 René la Canne Francis Girod Inspector Marchand
The Accuser Jean-Louis Bertucelli Saint-Ramé
Spoiled Children Bertrand Tavernier Bernard Rougerie
1978 La Part du feu Étienne Périer Robert Hansen
Strauberg ist da Strauberg Mischa Gallé
The Savage State Francis Girod Orlaville
La petite fille en velours bleu Alan Bridges Conrad Brukner
Le sucre Jacques Rouffio Grezillo
1979 Neapolitan Mystery Sergio Corbucci Victor Navarro
Le divorcement Philippe Pierre Barouh
Le mors aux dents Pierre Chazerand Laurent Heynemann
1980 A Leap in the Dark Marco Bellocchio Mauro Ponticelli
Der Preis fürs Überleben Hans Noever René Winterhalter
Atlantic City Louis Malle Joseph
1981 La Fille prodigue [fr] Jacques Doillon The Father
La confusion des sentiments [fr] Étienne Périer The Professor TV movie
Strange Affair Pierre Granier-Deferre Bertrand Malair
1982 Espion, lève-toi Yves Boisset Jean-Paul Chance
The Passerby Jacques Rouffio Max Baumstein
That Night in Varennes Ettore Scola King Louis XVI Uncredited
Passion Jean-Luc Godard Michel Boulard
The Eyes, the Mouth Marco Bellocchio Uncle Agostino
Beyond the Door Liliana Cavani Mr. Mutti
Une chambre en ville Jacques Demy Edmond Leroyer
Que les gros salaires lèvent le doigt ! [fr] Denys Granier-Deferre José Viss
1983 Le Prix du Danger Yves Boisset Frédéric Mallaire
The General of the Dead Army Luciano Tovoli Benetandi
1984 Dangerous Moves Richard Dembo Akiva Liebskind
Viva la vie Claude Lelouch Michel Perrin
Success Is the Best Revenge Jerzy Skolimowski French Officer
Le matelot 512 René Allio Récitant Voice
1985 Death in a French Garden Michel Deville Graham Tombsthay
Partir, revenir Claude Lelouch Simon Lerner
Adieu Bonaparte Youssef Chahine Caffarelli
1986 My Brother-in-Law Killed My Sister Jacques Rouffio Etienne Sembadel
Le Paltoquet [fr] Michel Deville Le Paltoquet
Mauvais Sang Leos Carax Marc
La Puritaine Jacques Doillon Pierre
1987 La rumba [fr] Roger Hanin Damien Malleville
The Distant Land Luc Bondy Friedrich Hofreiter
L'homme voilé Maroun Bagdadi Kassar
Maladie d'amour Jacques Deray Raoul Bergeron
1988 Come sono buoni i bianchi [it] Marco Ferreri Father Jean-Marie
Blanc de Chine Denys Granier-Deferre Batz
1990 May Fools Louis Malle Milou
Martha and I Jiří Weiss Ernst Fuchs
1991 La Belle Noiseuse Jacques Rivette Edouard Frenhofer
The Children Thief Christian de Chalonge M. Armand
Walking a Tightrope Nikos Papatakis Marcel Spadice
1992 Divertimento Jacques Rivette Edouard Frenhofer
Le Bal des casse-pieds [fr] Yves Robert Désiré
Archipel Pierre Granier-Deferre Leonard Wilde
La vie crevée Guillaume Nicloux Raymond
The Supper Édouard Molinaro François-René de Chateaubriand Voice
1993 La cavale des fous Marco Pico Henri Toussaint
Rupture(s) Christine Citti Paul
1994 Al-Mohager Youssef Chahine Adam
L'ange noir Jean-Claude Brisseau Georges Feuvrier
1995 Les Cent et une Nuits de Simon Cinéma Agnès Varda Simon Cinéma
1996 Beaumarchais Édouard Molinaro Prince de Conti
Traveling Companion Peter Del Monte Cosimo
Party Manoel de Oliveira Michel
Tykho Moon Enki Bilal Mac Bee
1997 Genealogies of a Crime Raúl Ruiz Georges Didier
Passion in the Desert Lavinia Currier Jean-Michel Venture de Paradis
1999 Rien sur Robert [fr] Pascal Bonitzer Lord Ariel Chatwick-West
Le plus beau pays du monde Marcel Bluwal Récitant (fin du film) Voice
Libero Burro Sergio Castellitto Uncle Toni
París-Tombuctú [es] Luis García Berlanga Michel des Assantes
2000 Les Acteurs Bertrand Blier Himself
Tout va bien, on s'en va [fr] Claude Mouriéras Louis
2001 I'm Going Home Manoel de Oliveira Gilbert Valence
2002 Divine Intervention Elia Suleiman Santa Claus Breathing Voice
2003 That Day Raúl Ruiz Harald
Raining Cats and Frogs Jacques-Rémy Girerd Ferdinand Voice
Little Lili Claude Miller Actor playing Simon
2005 C'est pas tout à fait la vie dont j'avais rêvé Director and Writer
Magic Mirror Manoel de Oliveira Prof. Heschel
2006 Gardens in Autumn Otar Iosseliani Marie
Belle Toujours Manoel de Oliveira Henri Husson
2007 The Duchess of Langeais Jacques Rivette Vidame de Pamiers
Boxes Jane Birkin Father
Les Toits de Paris [fr] Huner Saleem Marcel
2008 On War Bertrand Bonello Le grand Hou
The Dust of Time Theodoros Angelopoulos Spyros
2009 L'insurgée Laurent Perreau Maurice Reverdy
2011 We Have a Pope Nanni Moretti Cardinal Melville / The Pope
2012 You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet Alain Resnais Himself
Holy Motors Leos Carax Man with birthmark
Lines of Wellington Valeria Sarmiento Leópold Scheitzer
2014 Le goût des myrtilles Thomas de Thier Michel

Awards and nominationsEdit

 
Michel Piccoli at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival

In 2001 he was the recipient of the Europe Theatre Prize.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (18 May 2020). "Michel Piccoli obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "French screen legend Michel Piccoli, who starred in Belle de jour, dies at 94". France 24. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b Mintzer, Jordan (18 May 2020). "Michel Piccoli, Betrayed by Brigitte Bardot in Jean-Luc Godard's 'Contempt,' Dies at 94". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Harrison. "Michel Piccoli, French film star who worked with Buñuel and Godard, dies at 94". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  5. ^ Balle, Catherine (18 May 2020). "Mort de Michel Piccoli, acteur de légende du cinéma français". leparisien.fr. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  6. ^ Pulver, Andrew (18 May 2020). "Michel Piccoli, renowned French acting veteran, dies aged 94". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: A Leap in the Dark". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Berlinale: 1982 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  9. ^ IX Europe Theatre Prize / Reasons Europe Theatre Prize

External linksEdit