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Thread: Actor Philippe Noiret (Cinema Paradiso) dies

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Actor Philippe Noiret (Cinema Paradiso) dies

    Philippe Noiret, an Actor of Elegance and Dry Humor, Dies at 76
    Luca Diamonte/Associated Press

    PARIS, Nov. 24 — Philippe Noiret, a much-loved French character actor who gained international renown through the movies “Il Postino” and “Cinema Paradiso,” died

    Philippe Noiret, center, in the 1990 film “Ripoux Contre Ripoux.” Mr. Noiret also made many films in Italy, including “Il Postino.”

    The cause was cancer, said his agency, Artmedia.

    Although Mr. Noiret played a great variety of roles in a career dating to the early 1950s, one image that clung to him was that of an elegant gentleman farmer, reinforced by his aristocratic demeanor, dry sense of humor and velvety voice no less than his love of horses and country life.

    His own background, though, was modest. Born in Lille on Oct. 1, 1930, he failed to graduate from high school and, he later recalled, became an actor almost by default. His good fortune was to be hired by the Théâtre National Populaire in Paris in 1953. Seven years later, his movie career took off when he appeared in Louis Malle’s “Zazie dans le Métro.”

    With roles in more than 125 films after that, he worked with American and Italian directors as well as many leading French moviemakers. Among his best-known female co-stars were Simone Signoret, Romy Schneider and Catherine Deneuve.

    Abroad, his most successful roles were as the village projectionist in Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso” (1988) and as the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in Michael Radford’s “Postino” (1994). He also starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni in “La Grande Bouffe,” Marco Ferreri’s 1973 portrait of suicidal gluttony.

    Mr. Noiret frequently appeared in movies with his wife, the actress Monique Chaumette, whom he married in 1962. She and their daughter, Frédérique, survive him.

    In France, one of his finest roles was that of Major Delaplane, a French Army officer charged with organizing war memorials after World War I, in Bertrand Tavernier’s 1989 “La Vie et Rien d’Autre” (“Life and Nothing But”). For this role, he won a César, the French equivalent of an Oscar. He won his first César for best actor in Robert Enrico’s 1975 “Le Vieux Fusil” (“The Old Gun”).

    Mr. Tavernier, who made eight films with Mr. Noiret, was among numerous directors to remember him fondly. “He was a friend, a brother, someone I could count on for every adventure and whom I tried to serve by giving him different characters to play,” he told the radio station RTL on Friday.

    An outpouring of tributes underscored the special affection Mr. Noiret enjoyed in France. President Jacques Chirac hailed him as “one of theater’s and cinema’s most outstanding and engaging people.” Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said he “captured and expressed something of the French soul.”

    In Italy, where Mr. Noiret made many films, newspaper headlines included “The Frenchman Adopted by Italy” and “Farewell Noiret, the French Star Who Conquered Italy.” Knowing that Mr. Noiret was ill, Aldo Tassone, the artistic director of France Cinema, an annual festival of French films in Florence, dedicated last month’s festival to him.

    Mr. Noiret had a down-to-earth view of his own long career. “When I think back, I see someone who has correctly executed his trade as an artisan,” the Paris daily Libération quoted him as saying. “I have done a few difficult films as well as some not demanding enough. The average is not bad. I am a popular actor and I like that idea.”

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    I was surprised to see this posted PB. Thank you. I am a big fan of Noiret. He was truly an elegant, gentleman's actor. He could do it all. Theatre, comedy, drama. He was loved by his colleagues. There were 1200 people at his funeral, many well known in French cinema of every generation.

    He also worked in a few films with my Thierry. If you get a chance, see if you can get a copy of Les Ripoux, 1984. It's a classic comedy with so much heart. For those who aren't familiar with him, I'd compare him to Spencer Tracy. He could play a rough guy and a king. A natural talent and great in everything he did.

    This is a picture from Cannes, 2003.

    Liz hurley, Philippe Noiret, Jeanne Moreau, Ornella Mutti, Judith Godreche, Monica Bellucci, Geraldine Chaplin.



    Les Ripoux (The Rotten Cops, 1984)


    One of his last outings in October in Paris with the other rotten cop 22 years later).


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