LOUIS JOURDAN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Louis Jourdan                                                                   
Born: 19 June 1919 Marseille, France                                                   
Louis Jourdan (born June 19, 1919) is a French film actor. He is known for his         
roles in several Hollywood films, including Gigi (1958) and Octopussy (1983).         
Jourdan was born as Louis Gendre in Marseille, France, the son of Yvonne (née         
Jourdan) and Henry Gendre, a hotel owner. He was educated in France, Turkey           
and England, and trained as an actor at the École Dramatique, making his film         
debut in 1939.                                                                         
Following the German occupation of France during World War II, he continued to         
make films but after refusing to participate in Nazi propaganda films, he joined       
the French Resistance; his father was arrested by the Gestapo. After the 1944         
liberation of France by the Allies, Jourdan married Berthe Frederique, with whom       
he had a son.                                                                         
In 1947 Jourdan accepted an offer from a Hollywood studio to appear in The             
Paradine Case, an Alfred Hitchcock drama starring Gregory Peck. There he became       
friends with several stars who shared his love of croquet. After a number of           
American films, most notably the 1954 romantic drama Three Coins in the Fountain,     
he made his Broadway debut in the lead role in Billy Rose' drama, The Immoralist.     
He returned to Broadway for a short run in 1955 and that year made his U.S.           
television debut as Inspector Beaumont in the series Paris Precinct.                   
During the 1950s Jourdan made several international films, including playing the       
male lead in The Bride is Too Beautiful opposite Brigitte Bardot. However, he         
may be best remembered as the romantic lead opposite Leslie Caron and Maurice         
Chevalier in the 1958 film version of the Colette novel, Gigi. The film earned         
nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.                                           
Louis Jourdan as Kamal Khan in Octopussy                                               
In later years Jourdan also appeared on television, such as 1977's Count Dracula       
for the BBC, and the 1978 Columbo episode, Murder Under Glass, where he played a       
killer caught by the eponymous, unorthodox, rumpled American detective,               
Inspector Columbo.                                                                     
In 1983, he was cast as the villainous Kamal Khan in the James Bond film,             
Octopussy. In 1984 he played the role of Pierre de Coubertin in The First             
Olympics: Athens 1896, a TV series about the 1896 Summer Olympics.