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Louis de Funès

Louis de Funès

Louis de Funès


Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza (French pronunciation: lwi də fynɛs; 31 July 1914 – 27 January 1983) was a very popular French actor who is one of the giants of French comedy alongside André Bourvil and Fernandel. His acting style is remembered for its high energy performance, a wide range of facial expressions and an engaging, snappy impatience. He was enormously successful in several countries for many years, but remained almost unknown in the English-speaking world. Read more on Last.fm
Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza (French pronunciation: lwi də fynɛs; 31 July 1914 – 27 January 1983) was a very popular French actor who is one of the giants of French comedy alongside André Bourvil and Fernandel. His acting style is remembered for its high energy performance, a wide range of facial expressions and an engaging, snappy impatience. He was enormously successful in several countries for many years, but remained almost unknown in the English-speaking world. He was only noted in the United States in 1974 with the release of The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob. In a 1968 poll, he was voted France's favourite actor.

In a personal statement, he claimed to be interested only in films that would draw an audience of at least 500,000. Unlike the characters he played, de Funès was said to be a very shy person in real life. Capable of an extremely rich and rapidly changing range of facial expressiveness, de Funès was nicknamed "the man with forty faces per minute". In many of his films, he played the role of a humorously excitable, cranky, middle-aged or mature man with a propensity to hyperactivity, bad faith, and uncontrolled fits of anger. Along with his short height, (he measured 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)) and his facial contortions, this hyperactivity produced a highly comic effect.

This was particularly visible when he was paired with Bourvil, who was always given roles of calm, slightly naive, good-humoured men. In de Funès' successful lead role in a cinematic version of Molière's The Miser (L'Avare), these characteristics are greatly muted, percolating just beneath the surface. In his later years, he suffered from a heart condition after having suffered a heart attack caused by straining himself too much with his stage antics. Louis de Funès died of a massive stroke on 27 January 1983, a few months after making his final film. He was laid to rest in the Cimetière du Cellier, the cemetery situated in the grounds of the château. Louis de Funès is portrayed on a postage stamp issued on October 3, 1998 by the French Post Office.

He is the uncle of actress Isabelle De Funès. He was portrayed as a gambler in the "The One-Armed Bandit" issue of the cult comic book series Lucky Luke. The character "Skinner" in Ratatouille (2007) was loosely based on him. Read more on Last.fm.

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