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Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

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Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Old 02-16-15, 07:34 PM
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Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Not to be confused with Louis Jordan...

I'm sure I first saw him in Gigi, but his eating the eyeball has stuck with me a lot longer.



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http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news...d=ansvariety11

Louis Jourdan, Star of ‘Octopussy,’ ‘Gigi,’ Dies at 93
Variety
Carmel Dagan

Louis Jourdan, who crafted a Hollywood acting career in the footsteps of fellow dapper Frenchmen Maurice Chevalier and Charles Boyer and is best remembered for the musical “Gigi” and as the villain in James Bond pic “Octopussy,” has died at 93. According to his friend and biographer Olivier Minne, he died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills.

Jourdan offered a certain effortless charm that worked equally well in light heroic roles and more sinister ones.

“He was the last French figure of the Hollywood golden age. And he worked with so many of the greatest actors and directors,” said Minne, who is working on a documentary and a book about Jourdan.

In Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 musical confection “Gigi,” Jourdan starred with Leslie Caron and Chevalier in an effort from the creatives of “My Fair Lady” and highly resembling a Frenchified version of it. The New York Times said, “Louis Jourdan is suave as the hero who holds out against (Gigi’s) blossoming charms.”

The film won nine Oscars; while Jourdan was not among those honored, he did receive a Golden Globe nomination in the comedy/musical actor category.

Raising his profile in the 1980s were bigscreen appearances in Wes Craven’s campy monster movie “Swamp Thing” and James Bond film “Octopussy.”

The actor had made his English-language debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1947 thriller “The Paradine Case,” playing a valet with mysterious motives, and then appeared with Joan Fontaine in the Max Ophuls masterpiece “Letter From an Unknown Woman,” in which he portrayed a playboy who barely notices the woman who ultimately commits suicide over him.

In Minnelli’s version of “Madame Bovary” starring Jennifer Jones, Jourdan played one of the men with whom Bovary becomes scandalously entangled.

He appeared in a pair of adventure pics in 1951, “Bird of Paradise” with Debra Paget and Jacques Tourneur’s “Anne of the Indies,” about a female pirate played by Jean Peters.

The next year he starred with Boyer in a very different sort of movie: the cozy, near-classic “The Happy Time,” about a boy coming of age in a French-Canadian family.

Jourdan reunited with Fontaine for “Decameron Nights” and returned to France to star in Jacques Becker’s 1953 film “Rue de l’Estrapade.” While in Europe, he also shot the very frothy romance “Three Coins in the Fountain,” in which he played an Italian prince.

Back in the U.S. he appeared opposite Grace Kelly in “The Swan,” in which Kelly played a princess who loves her brothers’ tutor, played by Jourdan, but dutifully marries a dour prince (Alec Guinness).

The actor explored darker territory as the insanely jealous husband of Doris Day in the Oscar-nominated 1956 thriller “Julie.” The same year he played opposite Brigitte Bardot in the French romantic comedy “Her Bridal Night.”

The actor seemed appropriately uninterested in his rather humorless role in the middling 1960 musical “Can Can,” which reunited him with Chevalier and also starred Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine.

Jourdan made a couple of forays onto the Broadway stage in the 1950s, starring in “The Immoralist” with Geraldine Page and James Dean and in “Tonight in Samarkand.”

The actor had begun doing smallscreen work since 1953, appearing on episodic anthology shows such as “Studio One in Hollywood” and “The Ford Television Theatre” but most interestingly starring in the brief ABC rarity “Paris Precinct,” a series about French police detectives actually shot in Paris but intended for American TV. It ran for two seasons from 1953-55.

In the 1960s and 1970s Jourdan did his bigscreen work in mostly low-profile pictures, many made in Europe. These films included “Disorder,” “The Sultans” and “To Commit a Murder.”

He starred as the hero in a visually enticing 1961 French version of Dumas classic “The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo”; later he played the villain in a 1975 telepic adaptation of the tale that starred Richard Chamberlain.

Jourdan remained on the radar with work in a few prominent films: He played an unctuous ladies’ man trying to woo Elizabeth Taylor away from Richard Burton in the 1963 all-star pic “The V.I.P.s”; he was the narrator for Billy Wilder’s “Irma La Douce”; he appeared with Rex Harrison and Rosemary Harris in a 1968 adaptation of Feydeau’s “A Flea in Her Ear.”

On TV he appeared in the noted NBC telepic “Run a Crooked Mile” with Mary Tyler Moore in 1969; reunited with Chamberlain for another Dumas adaptation, 1977’s “The Man in the Iron Mask,” in which he played D’Artagnan; played the title character in “Count Dracula” for PBS’ “Great Performances”; and appeared in ABC’s 1979 miniseries “The French Atlantic Affair.”

In 1978 returned to Broadway after an absence of more than two decades to star in “13 Rue de l’Amour.”

He made his final TV appearance in NBC’s 1986 telepic “Beverly Hills Madam,” starring Faye Dunaway.

The actor returned for a “Swamp Thing” sequel in 1989 and retired to the South of France and Beverly Hills in 1992 after appearing in Peter Yates’ “Year of the Comet,” a misleadingly titled caper pic centered around wine.

Louis Gendre was born in Marseille. He was educated not only in France but in Turkey and the U.K. as well, and he received his training as an actor at the Ecole Dramatique. Jourdan’s film debut came in 1939’s “Le Corsaire,” and he appeared in several movies made by director Marc Allegret as war was raging in Europe, including “Les petites du quai aux fleurs” and “Twilight.”

In 2010 the actor was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in Los Angeles. Friends including Sidney Poitier and Kirk Douglas were there to congratulate him.

Son Louis Henry Jourdan died of a drug overdose in 1981. His wife, Berthe Frederique “Quique” Jourdan, to whom he was married for more than six decades, died last year.
Old 02-16-15, 07:40 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015



I best remember him from Swamp Thing
Old 02-16-15, 07:55 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Originally Posted by Cardsfan111 View Post


I best remember him from Swamp Thing
I'm sure this was Gen X's introduction to him (Meaning that most kids probably saw him in Swamp Thing before Octopussy)

I had no idea he was that old. Along with Chris Sarandon, he hardly aged during the course of 40 years.
Old 02-16-15, 07:57 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Aww, man. Swamp Thing, Octopussy, and Count Dracula (1977) is what I remember. It was cool saying his name with a French accent as a kid. He had quite the career.

Repose en paix M. Jourdan.
Old 02-16-15, 11:55 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

RIP. I too had no idea he was so old. Fondly remember him in Swamp Thing and Octopussy.
Old 02-17-15, 12:15 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

I've got the German blu-ray of Anne Of The Indies on the shelf waiting to watch- didn't realize he was in that.

I remember being conscious of him long before Octopussy- but I'm hard pressed to zero in where or why. He must have done a lot of TV guest appearances in the 70's because stuff like Gigi and the rest would not have been high on my radar at that point.
But I did know him and for some reason he always creeped me out.
The stuff he did in the 80's didn't endear me to him either. By the time I was watching Swamp Thing and it's sequel, or sneaking into a showing of Octopussy, I was hip to the fact that he had been considered a matinee idol earlier in his career but I had a hard time imagining why.

It wasn't until the DVD era that I got a good chance to see his earlier output beyond Gigi (a movie I do like/love). He was great in a supporting role in The Swan- which I thought was a vastly better movie than it's reputation suggested. He's also great as the cad in Letters From An Unknown Woman. And after finally seeing it, I gotta say he made an absolutely excellent Dracula. In fact- I think everything I've ever seen him in, with the exception of the 80's material, I've enjoyed quite a bit.

Married for 60 years and retired and living on the south of France. He had to survive the death of an adult child, but apparently he and his wife did. There were plenty more famous and idolized actors of his generation- but he seemed to have led one of the overall more happier existences.

Last edited by Paul_SD; 02-17-15 at 12:22 AM.
Old 02-17-15, 12:28 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

He also came out in a Columbo episode "Murder Under Glass".

He has the perfect bad guy face.

RIP

Old 02-17-15, 12:41 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

That was a GREAT Columbo ep. Watched it just a couple months back too. Completely slipped my mind.
Old 02-17-15, 07:46 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

My one Bond fan friend and I never get tired of Louis Jordan and the way he says 'Octopussy,' so that's how I will always remember him. Letter From an Unknown Woman is on the other side of the legacy spectrum and just as beloved, if not quite as funny.
Old 02-17-15, 01:10 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Swamp thing. Actually, I thought he died a few years ago.
Old 02-18-15, 04:57 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
My one Bond fan friend and I never get tired of Louis Jordan and the way he says 'Octopussy,' so that's how I will always remember him.
Right! Like when he's all hurt that she doesn't trust him, and he says "Octopoosy. OCTopoosy."
Old 02-19-15, 05:47 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Terrific actor, one of the few still around from the "golden era" of Hollywood.

"Letter from an Unknown Woman" is one of my favorite films of all time. Interesting to note that it was (until very recently) the oldest Hollywood film with both lead actor and actress still surviving... the lead actress being Joan Fontaine, of course, who just passed away last December.

Lots of other great work over the years, as noted by other posters. Jourdan was always perfect as the "classy" villain.

RIP.
Old 02-19-15, 07:32 PM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

RIP - didn't know the name a first, but knew the face.
Old 02-20-15, 08:19 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

He made an excellent Dracula for PBS. Accent & charm were perfect, but he could appear brutally animal-ish, too...like a feral creature.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu85_T9QAkE

Last edited by creekdipper; 02-20-15 at 08:32 AM.
Old 02-20-15, 09:32 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
He made an excellent Dracula for PBS. Accent & charm were perfect, but he could appear brutally animal-ish, too...like a feral creature.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu85_T9QAkE
The best adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Jourdan was perfect.
Old 02-20-15, 09:47 AM
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Re: Louis Jourdan, 1921-2015

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
He made an excellent Dracula for PBS. Accent & charm were perfect, but he could appear brutally animal-ish, too...like a feral creature.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu85_T9QAkE
My seventh grade teacher showed us part of Count Dracula in class for Halloween. The scene with the vampire brides was creep-y!


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