Noiret: One of cinema’s greats dies
It has been a sad week for French cinema. After the death of director Francis Girod last weekend (see news), actor Philippe Noiret has bowed out, dying at the age of 76 after a long illness.
Noiret began his film career in the early 1960s after some small roles during the previous decade, when he mainly worked in the theatre. He ultimately starred in nearly 140 films.
Winner of two Cesars for Best Actor for Robert Enrico’s The Old Gun in 1976 and for Bertrand Tavernier’s Life and Nothing But in 1990, the actor also won a BAFTA and European Film Award for his role in Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1990 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar).
Acclaimed in 1960 for his performance in Zazie in the Underground by Louis Malle, Noiret went on to work with the majority of the most important French directors of the second half of the 20th century: René Clair, Georges Franju, Abel Gance, Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Gracious Living), André Téchiné (I Don’t Kiss), Claude Chabrol (Masques), Patrice Leconte (Tango, The Grand Dukes), Bertrand Blier (Les côtelettes), Claude Berri (Uranus) and Alain Corneau (Fort Saganne).
He also worked on several occasions with Robert Enrico, Yves Boisset (The Purple Taxi) and Pierre Granier-Deferre, as well as Jean-Pierre Mocky, Jean Becker, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claire Devers and Michel Blanc.
The versatile actor, who knew how to alternate popular comedies (by Yves Robert, Philippe de Broca and Claude Zidi) with more demanding roles, starred in eight Tavernier films: The Watchmaker of St. Paul, Let Joy Reign Supreme, The Judge and the Assassin, A Week’s Vacation, Clean Up, Round Midnight, Life and Nothing But and D'Artagnan's Daughter.
Italian cinema is also in mourning, as the French actor starred in several films made in his adopted country: three by Mario Monicelli (including the 1975 hit My Friends), two by Marco Ferreri (The Grande Bouffe and Non toccare la donna bianca) and Francesco Rosi (Three Brothers, To Forget Palermo), as well as in films by Valerio Zurlini (The Desert of the Tartars), Ettore Scola, Franco Zeffirelli, Giuliano Montaldo, Sergio Citti, Roberto Faenza and Alberto Sordi.
Other films he starred in include The Postman by Michael Radford and films by Richard Lester, Peter Yates, Alfred Hitchcock (1969’s Topaz), William Klein and George Cukor.
The last film Noiret made – 3 amis (lit. “3 Friends”) by Michel Boujenah – will be released in France on August 22, 2007.
(Translated from French)
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