Louis Jourdan

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Louis Jourdan
Louis Jourdan in Madame Bovary trailer.JPG
Jourdan in trailer for Madame Bovary (1949)
BornLouis Robert Gendre
(1921-06-19) 19 June 1921 (age 92)
Marseille, France
Years active1939–1992
Spouse(s)Berthe Frédérique "Quique" Jourdan
(m.1946–present; 1 child)
ChildrenLouis Henry Jourdan (1951-1981)
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Louis Jourdan
Louis Jourdan in Madame Bovary trailer.JPG
Jourdan in trailer for Madame Bovary (1949)
BornLouis Robert Gendre
(1921-06-19) 19 June 1921 (age 92)
Marseille, France
Years active1939–1992
Spouse(s)Berthe Frédérique "Quique" Jourdan
(m.1946–present; 1 child)
ChildrenLouis Henry Jourdan (1951-1981)

Louis Jourdan (born Louis Robert Gendre, 19 June 1921)[1] is a retired French film and television actor. He is known for his roles in several Hollywood films, including The Paradine Case (1947), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Gigi (1958), The Best of Everything (1959) and Octopussy (1983). His final film before his retirement was The Year of the Comet in 1992.

Early life[edit]

Jourdan was born as Louis Gendre in Marseille, France, the son of Yvonne (née Jourdan) and Henry Gendre, a hotel owner.[2] He was educated in France, Turkey, and Britain, and he studied acting at the École Dramatique. Jourdan made his film début in 1939.

Following the Nazi German occupation of France during the Second World War, Jourdan continued to make motion pictures, but after refusing to participate in Nazi propaganda films, he joined the French Resistance. His father was arrested by the Gestapo.[3]


In 1947, Jourdan accepted an offer to appear in The Paradine Case, a drama directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Gregory Peck. In Hollywood, he became friends with several stars who shared his love of the game of croquet.

After acting in a number of American films, most notably in the romantic drama Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), Jourdan made his Broadway début in the lead role in Billy Rose's drama, The Immoralist. He returned to the Great White Way for a short run in 1955, and also that year he made his American TV début as Inspector Beaumont in the TV series Paris Precinct. In 1956, he appeared in the film The Swan along with Grace Kelly and Sir Alec Guinness, playing the role of "Dr Nicholas Agi".

During the 1950s, Jourdan acted in several major films, taking the male lead in The Bride Is Much Too Beautiful (1956) with Brigitte Bardot as the lead actress. However, he may be best remembered as the romantic lead with Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier in the film version of the novella by Colette, Gigi (1958). This film won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Jourdan co-starred with Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine in the musical Can-Can (1960).

In later years, Jourdan also appeared on television, including 1977's Count Dracula for the BBC and the 1978 Columbo episode Murder Under Glass. He later played Anton Arcane in the movie Swamp Thing (1982) and in its sequel The Return of Swamp Thing (1989).

During the 1970s, Jourdan recorded a series of spoken word albums of the Babar the Elephant books that were released by Caedmon Records. In 1983, Jourdan played the villainous Kamal Khan in the James Bond movie Octopussy. He played the role of Pierre de Coubertin in The First Olympics: Athens 1896, a 1984 TV series about the 1896 Summer Olympics.

Personal life[edit]

On 11 March 1946, Jourdan married Berthe Frédérique (nicknamed "Quique"), with whom he had his only child, Louis Henry Jourdan (b. 6 October 1951),[4] a son who died of a drug overdose on 12 May 1981[5] and was buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Jourdan has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6153 and 6445 Hollywood Boulevard.

Later years[edit]

He retired and lived, at least part-time, with his wife of more than sixty years, "Quique", in Los Angeles, California.They resided in the Greater Los Angeles Area for many years. In July of 2010, Jourdan was made an Officier de la Legion d'honneur, which he received, accompanied by friends, including Sidney Poitier and Kirk Douglas.[6]


1939Le Corsaire
1940Ecco la felicitàFédor
1940La Comédie du bonheurFédor
1941Parade en sept nuitsFreddy, le clown
Her First AffairPierre Rougemont
1942La Belle aventureAndré d'Éguzon
1943Untel père et filsChristian(uncredited)
1944Les Petites du quai aux fleursFrancis
1945La Vie de BohèmeRodolphe/Rodolfo
Félicie NanteuilRobert de Ligny
1947The Paradine CaseAndré Latour, Paradine's Valet
1948Letter from an Unknown WomanStefan Brand
No Minor VicesOctavio Quaglini
1949Madame BovaryRodolphe Boulanger
1951Bird of ParadiseAndré Laurence
Anne of the IndiesCaptain Pierre François La Rochelle
1952The Happy TimeUncle Desmond Bonnard
1953Paris PrecinctInsp. BeaumontTV (15 episodes, 1953–1955)
Decameron NightsGiovanni Boccaccio/Paganino/Giulio/Don Bertando
Rue de l'EstrapadeHenri Laurent
1954Three Coins in the FountainPrince Dino di Cessi
1956The Bride Is Much Too BeautifulMichel
JulieLyle Benton
The SwanDr. Nicholas Agi
1957Dangerous ExileDuke Philippe de Beauvais
EscapadeFrank Raphaël
1958GigiGaston LachailleNominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2nd Place – Golden Laurel Award for Top Male Musical Performance
1959The Best of EverythingDavid Savage
1960Can-CanPhilipe Forrestier
1961The Count of Monte CristoEdmond Dantès / Comte de Monte Cristo
Le Vergini di RomaDrusco
1962Il disordineTomaka Disorder
1963Irma la DouceNarrator
Mathias SandorfLe comte Mathias Sandorf
The V.I.P.sMarc Champselle
1966Les SultansLaurent
Made in ParisMarc Fontaine
1967CervantesCardinal Acquaviva
Peau d'espionCharles Beaulieuaka To Commit a Murder
1968To Die in ParisColonel Bertine WestrexTV
A Flea in Her EarHenri Tournel
1969Fear No EvilDavid SorellTV
Run a Crooked MileRichard StuartTV
1970Ritual of EvilDavid SorellTV
1973The Great American Beauty ContestRalph DupreeTV
1975Piange Il Telefono
1976L'hippopotamoursLe camionneur
1977Count DraculaCount DraculaTV
The Man in the Iron MaskD'ArtagnanTV
Plus ça va, moins ça vaPaul Tango
1978Columbo "Murder Under Glass"Paul GerardTV
Silver BearsPrince di Siracusa
1979The French Atlantic AffairCaptain Charles GirodtTV
1982Gamble on Love
Bayou RomanceHost(uncredited)
Escape to Love
Swamp ThingDr. Anton Arcane
1983Double DealPeter Sterling
OctopussyKamal Khan
1984Cover UpGeorge LeMareTV
1984The First Olympics: Athens, 1896Pierre de CoubertinTV
1986Beverly Hills MadamDouglas CorbinTV
Grand LarcenyCharles Grand
1989The Return of Swamp ThingDr. Anton Arcane
1992Year of the CometPhilippe


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