Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This Day in History September 12, 1888

By William Morris Agency (management). (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

So have you ever seen this person pictured above?  I have, and I have even seen some of his movies.  His name is Maurice Chevalier, and he was born on this date in 1888, in Paris, France.  Before his musical comedy fame, he did several odd jobs including painting, carpentry, and more.  In 1901, he began his career in theatre, and he became quite well-known in France.

In WWI, he was wounded, and he was also a prisoner of war for two years.  It was during that time that he learned English.  After his release, he went to England, and even though he was still singing in French, he found success.

Following the war, he found a degree of success in American movies. He made a few pictures with Jeanette MacDonald (she rejected his advances which made things quite tense).  He continued to find success in Hollywood, and whenever he spoke English on film, it was always with a heavy French accent.  Amazingly, his real English sounded much more American.  

During WWII, he was accused of conspiring with the Nazis, and he did not return to Hollywood until the 1950's after his acquittal.  He made the film Gigi (that's where I first saw him), and he received an Honorary Academy Award for it.

His final contribution to the film industry was the singing of the title song in the Disney film The Aristocats.  He died in Paris January 1, 1972.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely adore Maurice Chevalier. He is incredible :) Great post!


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