SACHA GUITRY Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Sacha Guitry                                                                 
Born: 21 February 1885                                                             
Died: 24 July 1957                                                                 
Sacha Guitry (February 21, 1885 - July 24, 1957) was a French film actor,           
director, screenwriter and playwright.                                             
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he was the son of Lucien Germain Guitry, (1860-1925),
a major Parisian stage actor who spent nine years at the Michel Theater, in St.     
Petersburg, before returning to France. It was during this time in Russia that     
Alexandre-Pierre Georges Guitry was born and nicknamed Sacha. As a five year old,   
he appeared on stage with his father. An intellect and a prolific writer with a     
sharp wit, by the age of 17 Guitry had already written the first of his 120         
plays. In 1918 his theatrical production premiered in Paris to critical acclaim.   
Guitry's dramas include Nono (1905), Petite Hollande (1908, with a foreword by     
Octave Mirbeau), Les deux couverts (Comedie Francaise, 1913), La Pèlerine         
écossaise (1914), Deburau (1918), Jean de la Fontaine (1922), Un sujet de roman   
(1923). Also famous are Quadrille, Tôa, N'ecoutez pas, Mesdames, Desire, Faisons   
un rove, Le Nouveau Testament, Beaumarchais and 100 others.                         
A prominent member of Parisian society, in 1919 Guitry married singing star         
Yvonne Printemps. Together they performed in a number of his plays, bringing the   
extremely popular 1925 production of Mozart to cities in North America,             
including New York City, Montreal and Boston. He wrote seven revues with Albert     
Willemetz, his best friend.                                                         
In addition to his famous plays, Guitry wrote and acted in many early films, and   
in 1935 directed for the first time. He went on to be recognized as one of the     
truly innovative directors, sometimes compared to Orson Welles because of his       
techniques and numerous innovations. Of the 30 films he directed, some of his       
most recognized are The Story of a Cheat (1937), Pearls of the Crown (1938) and     
Royal Affairs in Versailles in 1953.                                               
In 1931, the government of France awarded him the Légion d'honneur. He was also   
a member of the Academie Goncourt. Following World War II he spent sixty days in   
prison for suspected collaboration with the Germans, but a post-War court           
cleared him completely of all the charges, and historians make clear now he had     
nothing to do with collaboration and even helped many people.                       
Guitry died in Paris in 1957. He is interred with his father, brother and his       
fifth wife in the Montmartre Cemetery, in the Parisian neighborhood of             
Montmartre. After his passing, a street was named in his honor in Paris and the     
city of Nice, France and Radio France named a studio for him.