Sim (actor)

Sim (born Simon Jacques Eugène Berryer; 21 July 1926 – 6 September 2009) was a French humourist, writer and comedian.

Sim, inspecteur Armagnac.jpg
Sim as Inspecteur Armagnac in the television film Les Rats de cave, produced by Jean-Claude Morin in 1981 for FR3
Simon Jacques Eugène Berryer

(1926-07-21)21 July 1926
Died6 September 2009(2009-09-06) (aged 83)
OccupationComedian, writer, humorist
Years active1946-2009

He was part of the team on Les Grosses Têtes, a radio and TV programme. He also played the part of Geriatrix in the films Asterix and Obelix vs Caesar and Astérix at the Olympic Games.[1]


Simon Jacques Eugène was born on 21 July 1926 to engineer Henri Berryer and his wife Marie-Thérèse (née Bonnemazou).[2] At the time of his birth, Henri was an electrician for the director Abel Gance and grip on the film Napoléon.


The family lived in a small flat in the Rue du Fer-à-Moulin, a cinema district in the 5th arrondissement of Paris,[3] where Simon spent the most part of his earliest years at flats 26, then 28.[4] Very early on, his Russian uncle working at Synchro-Standard took Berryer to see the first talking pictures, which he would remember all his life.[3]

In 1936, the family moved to Nantes when Berryer senior found work as a technician at Le Majestic cinema[5] (later L'Olympic, then La Fabrique).


At the age of eleven, Barryer founded a comedy group called "Sim-Art".[6] (age fourteen, according to other sources[3][7]). In 1939, with his friend Jojo, Sim got his first award in a funny face competition organised on 15 August at Saint-Julien-de-Concelles.[6][5] Age fourteen, they played truant and performed sketches in a cellar, with fake letters to their school justifying their absence.[3] Simon later studied at De Launey technical college in Nantes.[6][2]

In 1941 his parents took over a cinema, L'Éden, in the small town of Ancenis (between Nantes and Angers).[8] The family moved from Nantes to Ancenis en 1942 and reopened the cinema. Sim continued his studies at the Joubert d'Ancenis lycée and worked as projectionist in the family business.[9]


In 1946, the Berryer family stopped working at the Ancenis[9] to start a film distribution company at Rennes, without success.[7][non-primary source needed] The Berryer parents returned to Ancenis but Sim – now married – stayed in Rennes as a projectionist at Le Royal. This venue also staged musical performances, so Sim saw performances from Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Henri Salvador, Maurice Chevalier, among others. He practiced his comedy, alone, after the performances. He won a contract as a humorous singer in a ballroom. He was spotted by Étienne Perrin, with whom he performed a comic clown act Etty et Balta.[7]

At the end of 1953, he toured as a comic song act in the Paris cabaret clubs, often in drag, as at Madame Arthur in Montmartre. He also worked at the Crazy Horse Saloon as a dresser. This stage of his career would be resurrected in Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais... elle cause ! by Michel Audiard, where he plays a schoolteacher who has a spare-time drag act.

Television and cinemaEdit

In the 1960s, he was part of Jean Nohain's team producing animated children's television, and performed the Baronne de la Tronche-en-Biais[10] in a Guy Lux production.

In the 1970s he was part of many televised sketch shows. He also performed comic sketches and songs with humourist Édouard Caillau [fr] on RTBF's Chansons à la carte [fr]. In France, he was a regular performer in short comic sketches, often in costume, on Guy Lux's programmes.

The 1970s saw his best cinema work. Sim also took part in the radio (and later television) programme Les Grosses Têtes, from its start in 1977, and was a regular panellist on the television game show L'Académie des neuf [fr].

He took part in directing the television series Louis la Brocante [fr], in which he played the role of Théodore in many episodes, as well as other roles.


Sim died of a pulmonary embolism on 6 September 2009, aged 83, at the Bonnet community hospital in Fréjus, Var[11][5] where he was being treated for pneumonia.

His funeral took place on 11 September 2009 at the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, where he had lived for nine years.[12] His wife Marie-Claude and son Laurence were accompanied by many famous performers, including Victor Lanoux, Jacques Balutin, Évelyne Buyle, Philippe Bouvard and Pierre Sisser [fr]. The celebrant was Father Jérôme Renard.[13] He was cremated at Vidauban (Var) and his ashes scattered in the crematorium's garden of remembrance.


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Les gaités de l'escadrille
1969 A Golden Widow Il Vecchio - un tueur sur le retour
1970 Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais... elle cause ! Phalempin
1971 The Married Couple of the Year Two Lucas - le comptable de Gosselin
1971 La grande maffia... Balempier, le chef de service
1973 La brigade en folie Commissaire Grospèze
1974 La grande nouba Alexandre Ladislas Ladretsky, le pianiste / Le poissonnier
1976 Andréa Mehmet
1977 Le roi des bricoleurs Malju
1977 Drôles de zèbres Napoléon Simfrid / La baronne de la Tronchembiais
1980 Sacrés gendarmes Le gendarme légionnaire
1980 Touch' pas à mon biniou Gaëtan
1984 Pinot simple flic Vénus, le photographe
1990 The Voice of the Moon Flute player
1999 Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar Agecanonix
2008 Asterix at the Olympic Games


  1. ^ Louis V. (7 September 2009). "Les Grosses Têtes perdent Sim" [Les Grosses Têtes lose sim]. (in French). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Biographie Sim - Comédien, écrivain" [Sim Biography - Comedian, writer]. Who's Who in France (in French). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Nohain, Jean (January 1981). "Sim un pitre de génie" [Sim a clown of genius]. Notre Temps (in French) (138): 5–7.
  4. ^ Iglesias, Régis. "Les souvenirs de Sim" [Memories of Sim]. (in French). Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Sim n'a jamais oublié son adolescence à Nantes" [Sim has never forgotten his adolescence in Nantes]. (in French). 7 March 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Escolano, Véronique (8 September 2018). "À 11 ans, Sim créait la Sim-Art à Nantes" [Age 11, Sim founded Sim-Art in Nantes]. Ouest France (in French).
  7. ^ a b c Sim (1983). Elle est chouette ma gueule! [My life is sweet] (in French). Flammarion.
  8. ^ "Petites annonces - Cession de salle" [Classified announcements - Closure of room] (PDF). Le Film (23): 40. 13 September 1941. EDEN à Ancenis (Loire-Inférieure), impasse Emilien Maillard, vendu par M. Raoul Cuisnier à M. Emile Lethin (8 août 41) et cédé par M. Emile Lethin à Sté à R. L.. « Eden-cinéma Berryer et Cie » (9 août 41).
  9. ^ a b "Histoire du Cinéma Eden" [Story of the Eden Cinema]. (in French). Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  10. ^ Sim; Pierre Louis (18 May 1975). "La baronne de la tronche en biais". Institut national de l'audiovisuel. Antenne 2. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Mort de Sim : ses proches lui ont fait un dernier adieu très émouvant" [Death of Sim: those close to him give a last heartfelt goodbye]. (in French). 11 September 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Sim : " un copain universel " (Mitterrand)" [Sim: Mitterrand calls him a "universal friend"]. (in French). 7 September 2009.
  13. ^ "2 000 personnes rendent hommage à Sim" [2,000 people pay homage to Sim]. (in French).

External linksEdit