Birth name Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza NationalityFrance Birth 31 july 1914 at Courbevoie (France) Death 27 january 1983 (at 68 years) at Nantes (France) Awards Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
Louis de Funès ([lwi də fy.nɛs]hear; 31 July 1914 – 27 January 1983), born Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza, was a popular French actor of Spanish origin and one of the giants of French comedy alongside André Bourvil and Fernandel. His acting style is remembered for its high energy performance, wide range of facial expressions and engaging, snappy impatience and selfishness. A big part of his most famous work was in collaboration with director Jean Girault, and together, they wrote and directed the French classic L'avare (1980) in which he also starred.
He was a household name in several countries of Europe (Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Romania, USSR and Yugoslavia in particular) for many years, yet remained almost unknown in the English-speaking world. He was seen only once in the United States in 1974 with the release of The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, which was nominated for a Golden Globe. According to a 1968 poll he was France's favourite actor. Funès played over 130 roles in film and over 100 roles on stage.
Louis de Funès was born on 31 July 1914 in Courbevoie, Hauts-de-Seine to parents from Seville, Spain. Since the couple's families opposed their marriage, they settled in France in 1904. His father, Carlos Luis de Funès de Galarza, a nobleman and his mother side from family marquesses de Galarza, had been a lawyer in Spain, but became a diamond cutter upon arriving in France. His mother, Leonor Soto Reguera, was of Galician extraction, daughter of a prominent politician from Galicia, senator Teolindo Soto Barro.
Known to friends and intimates as "Fufu", de Funès spoke French, Spanish and English well. During his youth, he was fond of drawing and piano playing. He was an alumnus of the lycée Condorcet in Paris, a distinction he shared with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Valéry, Paul Verlaine, Marcel Proust, Jean Cocteau, Serge Gainsbourg, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, amongst others. He later dropped out, and was not successful in his early life; as a youth and young adult, de Funès held modest jobs, from which he was repeatedly fired. He became a pianist, working mostly as a jazz pianist at Pigalle, Paris, famous as a touristic red-light district. There he made his customers laugh each time he made a grimace. He studied acting for one year at the Simon acting school. There he made some useful contacts, including Daniel Gélin, among others. In 1936 he married Germaine Louise Elodie Carroyer, with whom he had one child, a son named Daniel; the couple were divorced in late 1942.
During the occupation of Paris in the Second World War, he continued his piano studies at a music school, where he fell in love with a secretary, Jeanne Barthelémy de Maupassant, a grandniece of the famous author Guy de Maupassant. She had fallen in love with "the young man who played jazz like god"; they married in 1943 and remained together for forty years, until de Funès' death in 1983. They had two sons: Patrick (born on 27 January 1944) and Olivier (born on 11 August 1949). Patrick became a doctor who now practices in Saint-Germain en Laye. Olivier became an actor for a brief while. He became known for the roles he had in his father's films (Les Grandes Vacances, Fantômas se déchaine, Le Grand Restaurant, and Hibernatus are the most famous). At the time, he was an aviator for Air France Europe.
Through the early 1940s, de Funès continued playing piano at clubs, thinking there was not much call for a short, balding, skinny actor. His wife and Daniel Gélin encouraged him until he managed to overcome his fear of rejection. His wife supported him in the most difficult moments, while helping him to efficiently manage his career.
, 1h27 Directed byJean Girault OriginFrance GenresScience fiction, Fantastic, Comedy, Comedy thriller, Comic science fiction ThemesFrench war films, Fiction sur la gendarmerie, La provence, The Troops of St. Tropez, Comedy science fiction films, Films set in the future, Films about extraterrestrial life, Films about extraterrestrial life, Alien invasions in films, Disaster films ActorsLouis de Funès, Michel Galabru, Maurice Risch, France Rumilly, Jean-Pierre Rambal, Guy Grosso Roles Ludovic Cruchot Rating62% The actions once again take place in the small French town of Saint-Tropez. While driving with one of his gendarmes, Cruchot (Louis de Funes) has to stop in order to fix the car. The gendarme wanders away and sees a flying saucer in a field which then flies away. He tries to tell Cruchot and the rest of the station, but they don't believe him. Shortly after, the same occurs with Cruchot and the chief of the gendarmes. This time it is Cruchot who wanders away and sees the saucer, however the chief does not believe him. Later on, when the same gendarme is doing paperwork in the office, a young man appears in front of him and says that he is a part of an alien expedition which has arrived to Saint-Tropez in order to examine humanity as people from all around the globe go to Saint-Tropez during the summer. The alien demonstrates its shapeshifting ability by transforming into the same gendarme it is talking to. The gendarme runs and tells Cruchot, who doesn't believe him. In the midst of the racket, the chief comes and sends the gendarme away. The chief reveals that he is actually an alien disguised as the chief, and when Cruchot doesn't believe him the alien becomes agitated and uses laser vision to cause damage to Cruchot's room. He relents when a watch on his hand flashes red and drinks something out of a flask. The alien begins coughing and upon hitting it on the back, Cruchot discovers it makes a metallic sound. Later on when the real chief arrives, Cruchot stabs him with a screwdriver thinking that it is the alien. The chief orders Cruchot out, since the supervisor will come in tomorrow to check up on the station. During the check up, Cruchot notices the same watch on the supervisor as on the alien he saw last night and attempts to attack him. The gendarmes hold him back while the alien supervisor flees, and the real supervisor arrive. Cruchot once again stabs the real supervisor thinking he is an alien. He is arrested, but escapes the station.
, 1h50 Directed byClaude Zidi OriginFrance GenresComedy ThemesCircus films, Cooking films ActorsLouis de Funès, Coluche, Julien Guiomar, Claude Gensac, Ann Zacharias, Martin Lamotte Roles Charles Duchemin Rating72% Charles Duchemin (Louis de Funès) is the editor of an internationally known restaurant guide. After being appointed to the Académie française, Duchemin decides to retire as a restaurant critic and trains his son Gérard (Coluche) to continue the family business. However, Gérard Duchemin is more interested in his true passion—the circus—than high cuisine. Soon, however, Charles' plans to retire are complicated by the arrival of Jacques Tricatel (Julien Guiomar), the owner of a company of mass-produced food. Fearing for the future of high cuisine, Charles and his son strive to ruin Tricatel's company in any way they can. This movie is an allegory of the antagonism between USA culture and French culture as it was seen by French people in the 70s.
, 1h25 Directed byJean Girault OriginFrance GenresComedy, Comedy thriller, Crime ThemesThéâtre, Films based on plays ActorsLouis de Funès, Claude Gensac, Michel Galabru, Bernard Blier, Ferdy Mayne, Florence Blot Roles Antoine Brisebard Rating71% Antoine Brisebard, a famous comedy playwright, is struggling with financial difficulties and is preparing to sell his country villa to an English couple. What no one knows, however, is that Brisebard is actually a victim of blackmail since his wife Sylvie, a famous actress, is the daughter of a notorious robber-murderer. His extortionist is a malevolent criminal only known as Jo, who visits him often to pick up his hush money. But faced with certain ruin, Brisebard is preparing to do away with Jo once and for all, planning his deed under the guise of him trying to write the script for a crime play and consulting his friend, attorney Colas, for ideas of how to efficiently get rid of the body. He finally takes up the offer of one Tonelotti to erect a garden pavilion, whose foundation would provide the ideal hiding place for the corpse.
, 1h18 Directed byÉdouard Molinaro, Philippe Monnier OriginFrance GenresScience fiction, Fantastic, Comedy, Comic science fiction ThemesFilms about families, Théâtre, Comedy science fiction films, Films based on plays ActorsLouis de Funès, Claude Gensac, Bernard Alane, Michael Lonsdale, Martine Kelly, Claude Piéplu Roles Hubert de Tartas Rating67% A man frozen for 65 years is found in the ice of the North Pole by a scientific polar expedition. While he is brought back to life by professor Edouard Lauriebat (Michael Lonsdale), the man is identified as Paul Fournier, who was exploring the pole in 1905 and is now, thanks to hibernation, a 90 years old young man. Edmée de Tartas (Claude Gensac), born Fournier, is identified as the granddaughter of Paul and convinces her husband, Hubert Barrère de Tartas (Louis de Funès), that Paul must be given back to his family, while the government wishes to treat Paul as a research subject. After a kidnapping and a pursuit, the authorities reluctantly agree, but impose, for the sake of Paul's mental health, that his environment be the same as in 1905. As Paul thinks Edmée is his mother, Hubert must play the role of a man courting Edmée and Didier (Olivier de Funès), the son of Edmée and Hubert plays the role of a student living with the family. First under control, the situation gradually deteriorates especially when Paul's actions become a threat to Hubert's plan to marry his son to the daughter of Crepin-Jaujard, one of his business partners.