Michel Bouquet, monument of the French theater known for having played no less than 800 times The king is dying of Ionesco and actor on the big screen at Chabrol and Truffaut, died Wednesday at the age of 96, announced his press service at AFP. “Michel Bouquet is deceased [mercredi] at the end of the morning in a Parisian hospital”, it was specified. After 75 years of career, he had confided in 2019 to AFP that he would not go back on stage, after having made his “merry way” Unforgettable in The King is Dying and in Molière’s The Miser, but just as much in the cinema, this stage giant has always displayed his preference for the theatre.”In the theatre, the personality of the author is so majestic, that this either Pinter or Molière, that we are only trying to speak as obediently as possible. It is forgetting oneself that is the most important”, he confided in 2019. However, he had marked the big screen by playing an astonishing Mitterrand on the evening of his life in Le Promeneur du Champs-de-Mars by Robert Guédiguian (2004), with a mimicry that will disturb even those close to the former president.He will receive the César for Best Actor for this film, after that received a few years earlier for Anne Fontaine’s film How I Killed My Father (2002).On the screen, he also played secret characters in the films of Claude Chabrol (The Unfaithful Woman, Chicken in Vinegar).He also acted under the direction of François Truffaut (The Bride Was in Black, in 1967, and La Sirène du Mississippi in 1968) and was a masterful Javert, the inspector chasing Jean Valjean in Robert Hossein’s Les Misérables (1982). known because he became a prisoner of war, Michel Bouquet owes his taste for the spectacle to his mother who regularly took him to the Opéra-Comique. “Each time the curtain rose, there was no longer the horror of war, there were no longer Germans around […], the unreal world far exceeded the real world. It was the best lesson of my life,” he told AFP. He marked the post-war theater by making the work of Harold Pinter known in France and by serving great classic texts (Molière, Diderot or Strindberg) and contemporary texts (Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Albert Camus or Thomas Bernhard). “Michel Bouquet was a genius, an immense actor. I also think of the comedy teacher he was and who revealed generations of actors, reacted to AFP the actor and director Nicolas Briançon. He defended a great reflection on the acting of the actor, with respect for the authors, with great humility in relation to the text. He had a speech of passionate demand, with a permanent commitment and at the same time a lot of sobriety in the game.
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