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Louis Jouvet


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French actor and producer.

Jouvet was born in Brittany and began his career with touring companies; he made his Paris debut in The Brothers Karamazov in 1910. Subsequently he became involved in management, joining Jacques Copeau (1878–1949) as actor and stage manager at the opening of the Vieux-Colombier in 1913. After war service (1914–17) Jouvet spent two years with Copeau and his company at the Garrick, New York. After an attempt to set up his own theatre he became director of the Comédie des Champs-Élysées (1924–34). He produced several plays by Jules Romains, most notably Knock, ou le triomphe de la médicine, and all of Giraudoux's, beginning with Siegfried (1928). In 1934 he assumed the management of l'Athénée and two years later was appointed a professor at the Conservatoire. He also became one of a group of occasional producers at the Comédie Française. Throughout his distinguished career Jouvet continued to act and during World War II he toured South America. Arnolphe in École des femmes and Geronté in Les Fourberies de Scapin are among the many Molière roles he portrayed. Jouvet made his film debut in Pagnol's Topaze (1933). Subsequent films in which he appeared included La Kermesse héroique (1935), Jean Renoir's Les Bas-fonds (1936), Marcel Carné;'s Drôle de drame (1937) and Hôtel du Nord (1938), Quai des Orfèvres (1947), and Une Histoire d'amour (1951). He also wrote Réflexiones du comédien (1939) and Témoignages sur le théâtre (published posthumously in 1952).

Subjects: Performing artsTheatre

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