Jean Rochefort  

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Jean Rochefort (29 April 1930 – 9 October 2017) was a French actor whose career spanned more than five decades. He is known for such films as The Phantom of Liberty, Le Grand Blond avec Une Chaussure Noire, Les Grands Ducs and Ridicule.


Life and career

Rochefort was born in Paris, France, to Breton parents. He was 19 years old when he entered the Centre d'Art Dramatique de la rue Blanche. Later he joined the Conservatoire National. After his national service, in 1953, he worked with the Compagnie Grenier Hussenot as a theatre actor for seven years. There he was noticed for his ability to play both drama and comedy. He then became a television and cinema actor. He has also worked as director.

After some supporting roles in Cartouche, Captain Fracasse and in Merveilleuse Angélique, Jean Rochefort played his first big role with Annie Girardot as his wife and Claude Jade as their daughter in Hearth Fires in 1972. In this drama he starred as a man who leaves his family for ten years before returning. In this film he played with 41 years a family father of adult children (the young Claude Jade was already 23). To be older, he had a moustache, his trademark, which he had removed only once (1996 in "Ridicule"). Four years after Hearth Fires he was the leading star of the midlife crisis comedy An Elephant Can Be Extremely Deceptive as a man who risks his married life with Danièle Delorme for an affair with Anny Duperey. Thanks to this comedy, Rochefort get a big popularity. In 1972, he starred opposite Pierre Richard as Chief of Counter-Espionage Louis Toulouse in the Yves Robert comedy Le Grand Blond avec Une Chaussure Noire, a role he reprised in the 1974 sequel Le Retour du Grand Blond, also directed by Robert. In 1998, he starred as "Fernand de Morcerf" opposite Gerard Depardieu in the mini-series Le Comte de Monte Cristo.

In his 30s during the shooting of Cartouche, he discovered his passion for horses and equestrianism. He was a horse breeder since then and owned Le Haras de Villequoy. His passion led him to become a horse consultant for French television in 2004. He won two César Awards: in 1976, Best Supporting Actor for Que la fête commence; and in 1978, Best Actor for Le Crabe-tambour.

In the eighties, he became the narrator of the French version of Welcome to Pooh Corner, replacing Laurie Main. This made him popular with children at the time and Disney hired him to record several audio versions of their classic movies. In the nineties, he came back to comedy with Les Grands Ducs where he played alongside two other actors of his generation with a similar career, Philippe Noiret and Jean-Pierre Marielle.

He was to play the title character in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, after being found as "the perfect Quixote" by director Terry Gilliam. Rochefort learned English just for the part. Unfortunately, amongst other production problems, he began suffering from a herniated disc. Unable to film for months, production was cancelled. A documentary, Lost in La Mancha, was made about the failed production.

In 1960 he married Alexandra Moscwa, with whom he had three children: Marie (1962), Julien (1965) and Guillaume. With actress-filmmaker Nicole Garcia, he also had a son Pierre. Through his second marriage with Françoise Vidal he had two children, Louise (1990) and Clémence (1992).

Rochefort died on 9 October 2017 at the age of 87.


Year Title Role
1956 Rencontre à Paris (Meeting in Paris) Uncredited
1958 Une balle dans le canon (A Bullet in the Gun Barrel) Léopold
1961 Vingt mille lieues sur la terre (20,000 Leagues Across the Land) Fernand
Le Capitaine Fracasse Malartic
1962 Cartouche (Swords of Blood) La Taupe
Le Soleil dans l'oeil (Sun in Your Eyes) Cameo appearance
Le Masque de fer (The Iron Mask) Lastréaumont
1963 Fort-du-fou (Outpost in Indo-china) Noyelles
Template:Interlanguage link multi (Symphony for a Massacre) Jabeke
The Bread Peddler Ovide Soliveau
Template:Interlanguage link multi (The Blockhead Fair) Sigoules
1964 Template:Interlanguage link multi (Trouble Among Widows) inspector Laforêt
Template:Interlanguage link multi Croquignol
Angélique François Desgrez
1965 Merveilleuse Angélique (Angelique: The Road to Versailles)
Les Tribulations d'un chinois en Chine (Up to His Ears) Leon
1966 Angélique et le roy (Angelique and the King) François Desgrez
À cœur joie (Two Weeks in September) Philippe
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (Who Are You, Polly Magoo?) Grégoire Pecque
1967 Template:Interlanguage link multi Capitaine Bordeille
1968 Ne jouez pas avec les Martiens (Don't Play with Martians) René Mastier
Template:Interlanguage link multi Guillaume
1969 Template:Interlanguage link multi (The Devil by the Tail) Georges, comte de Coustines
Le Temps de mourir (The Time to Die) Hervé Breton
1970 Template:Interlanguage link multi Moss
Template:Interlanguage link multi Georges Cazenave
1972 Le Grand blond avec une chaussure noire (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe) Colonel Louis Toulouse
Template:Interlanguage link multi Victor Dugommier
Les Feux de la chandeleur (Hearth Fires) Alexandre Boursault
1973 L'Héritier (The Inheritor) André Berthier
Template:Interlanguage link multi (Lovely Swine) the police inspector
Template:Interlanguage link multi (The Conspiracy) Dominic
Salut l'artiste (Hail The Artist) Clément
Dio, sei proprio un padreterno! (Mean Frank and Crazy Tony) Louis Annunziata
1974 L'Horloger de Saint-Paul (The Clockmaker) Inspector Guilboud
Comment réussir quand on est con et pleurnichard (How to Make Good When One Is a Jerk and a Crybaby) Foisnard
Le fantôme de la liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) Monsieur Legendre
Mio Dio, come sono caduta in basso! (Till Marriage Do Us Part) Baron Henri De Sarcey
Retour du grand blond (The Return of the Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe) Colonel Toulouse
Template:Interlanguage link multi (Isabelle and Lust) Monsieur Vaudois
Que la fête commence... (Let Joy Reign Supreme) Dubois
1975 Les innocents aux mains sales (Innocents with Dirty Hands) Albert Légal
Un divorce heureux (A Happy Divorce) Jean-Baptiste Morin
Template:Interlanguage link multi Commissaire Pichard
1976 Calmos (Cool, Calm and Collected) Albert
Les Magiciens (Death Rite) Edouard
Un éléphant ça trompe énormément (An Elephant Can Be Extremely Deceptive) Étienne Dorsay
1977 Nous irons tous au paradis (We Will All Meet in Paradise)
Le Crabe-tambour (Drummer-Crab) the Captain
Template:Interlanguage link multi Alain Brissot
1978 Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? Auguste Grandvilliers
1979 Template:Interlanguage link multi (Practice Makes Perfect) Édouard Choiseul
Template:Interlanguage link multi Carl Grandison
Courage - Let's Run Martin Belhomme
French Postcards Monsieur Tessier
1980 Template:Interlanguage link multi (Sent a Letter to My Love) Gilles Martin
Odio le bionde (I Hate Blondes) Donald Rose
1981 Un étrange voyage Pierre
Il faut tuer Birgitt Haas (Birgitt Haas Must Be Killed) Charles-Philippe Bauman
1982 Template:Interlanguage link multi Alain Tescique
Le Grand Frère (The Big Brother) Charles-Henri Rossi
1983 Template:Interlanguage link multi ("A Cops' Sunday") Rupert
Template:Interlanguage link multi (A Friend of Vincent) Vincent Lamarre
1984 Frankenstein 90 Victor Frankenstein
Template:Interlanguage link multi Louis Alban
1985 David, Thomas et les autres ("A Volley for a Black Buffalo") Monsieur Louis
1986 Template:Interlanguage link multi Arnold
1987 Tandem Michel Mortez
Template:Interlanguage link multi (The Field Agent) Capitaine Duroc
My First Forty Years (also known as My Wonderful Life) Prince Riccio
1989 Je suis le seigneur du château (I'm the King of the Castle) Jean Bréaud
1990 Le Mari de la coiffeuse (The Hairdresser's Husband) Antoine
Le Château de ma mère (My Mother's Castle) Loïs de Montmajour / Adolphe Cassignole
1991 Amoureux fou ("Love Crazy" or "Madly in Love") Rudolph
1992 Template:Interlanguage link multi Henri Sauveur
The Timekeeper Louis XV of France
L'Atlantide Le Meige
1993 Tango Bellhop
Template:Interlanguage link multi (Wild Target) Victor Meynard
Tombés du ciel (Lost in Transit) Arturo Conti
1994 La prossima volta il fuoco ("Next Time the Fire") Amedeo
Tutti gli anni una volta l'anno (Once a Year, Every Year) Raffaele
Prêt-à-Porter Inspecteur Tantpis
1995 Tom est tout seul Jean-Pierre
1996 Palace Thomas Fausto
Les Grands Ducs Eddie Carpentier
Ridicule the Marquis of Bellegarde
Never Ever Gerard Panier
1997 Template:Interlanguage link multi Monsieur Clément
1998 Le Serpent a mangé la grenouille Monsieur Moreau
Template:Interlanguage link multi ("Wind with the Gone") Edgar Wexley
Le Comte de Monte Cristo ("The Count of Monte Cristo") Fernand de Morcerf
1999 Template:Interlanguage link multi Nicolaes Tulp
2001 Le Placard Kopel
Honolulu Baby Cri Cri
La Vie sans secret de Walter Nions Walter Nions
2002 L'homme du train (The Man on the Train) Manesquier
Template:Interlanguage link multi Cardinal Mazarin
Lost in La Mancha as himself (uncredited)
2003 Fanfan la tulipe Narrator
Les Clefs de bagnole (The Car Keys) cameo appearance
2004 RRRrrrr!!! Lucie
Les Dalton (The Daltons) Jolly Jumper (voice)
2005 Template:Interlanguage link multi Chris Barnes
L'enfer (Hell) Louis
2006 Template:Interlanguage link multi Louis Ruinard
Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One) Gilbert Neuville
2007 Mr. Bean's Holiday The Head Waiter
La clef Joseph Arp
2008 id - Identity of the Soul narrator
Template:Interlanguage link multi Jean
Agathe Cléry Louis Guignard
2012 The Artist and the Model Marc Cros
Astérix et Obélix: Au service de sa Majesté (Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia) Lucius Fouinus
2015 April and the Twisted World
2015 Floride Claude Lherminier


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