Jean Bruce

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Jean Bruce born Jean Brochet on 22 March 1921 was a prolific French popular writer who died on 26 March 1963 in a car accident. He also wrote under the pseudonyms of Jean Alexandre, Jean Alexandre Brochet, Jean-Martin Rouan, and Joyce Lindsay.

He is particularly known for the adventures of secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, aka OSS 117, of which many novels were adapted for the screen in the 1960s. Bruce's first OSS 117 novel appeared in 1949. He wrote prolifically with 91 OSS 117 novels and many others before his death in a Jaguar sports car crash. Though the first OSS 117 n'est pas mort (OSS 117 Is Not Dead) film with Ivan Desny in the lead was already made in 1957, a popular series of several OSS 117 films started no earlier than in 1963, following the French release of Dr. No with Kerwin Mathews in two, director André Hunebelle's discovery Frederick Stafford in two more, John Gavin in one (replacing Stafford who was starring in Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz, then with Luc Merenda and Alan Scott in two in the 1970s that were French made for TV films. In 2006 the action spoof OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies starring Jean Dujardin as OSS 117 became a surprise international hit.

After his death, his wife Josette Bruce (who died in 1996) continued to write 143 new titles for the OSS 117 character beginning in 1966 until her death. After her death their son and daughter François and Martine Bruce wrote 24 books up until 1992.

Films of some of Bruce's other books such as Le vicomte règle ses comptes (The Viscount) with Kerwin Mathews and Cinq Gars pour Singapour (Five Ashore in Singapore) with Sean Flynn were made.

Jean-Paul Belmondo played both a Jean Bruce type writer and his OSS 117 type creation in Philippe de Broca's Le Magnifique.

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