French Film
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Pierre Fresney

1897 - 1975

The actor Pierre Fresnay was born as Pierre Jules Louis Laudenbach in Paris. Because of his intensive play he soon attained the reputation as one of the most important French stage and film actors.

He came to the acting thank to his uncle Claude Garry who was a well-known stage actor himself. Pierre Fresnay already made his stage debut at the age of 14, than under the pseudonym Pierre Vernet.
He joined the Comédie Française in 1915 where he was active till 1926. He also made his film debut in 1915 called "France d'abord", but the film kept a minor matter for the time being.

Pierre Fresnay rose to one of the most demanded stage actors in the 20's, in movies he still appeared only seldom, so in "Le diamant noir" (22), "La mendiante de Saint-Sulpice" (23) and "La vierge folle" (29).

Only from the 30's, when the talkies replaced the silent movie, he paid more attention to this medium. From now on he normally impersonated leading roles in movies like "Marius" (31), "Fanny" (32), "La dame aux camélias" (34), "César" (36), "Mademoiselle Docteur" (37), "Le puritain" (38) and "Le duel" (39).
With Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (34) he even acted in his first international production.
He had his greatest success with "La grande illusion" (37), a performance which made him a star.

When the war spread over France and the Germans seized power he continued to play in movies for Continental which was under German leadership. He took part in movies like "Le dernier des six" (41), "Le journal tombe à cinq heures" (42), "La main du diable" (43), "Le corbeau" (43) and "Le voyageur sans bagages" (44).

When World War II was over they hold this activity in front of him and he was even sent top prison for six weeks. Pierre Fresnay fell out of favour with the public.

He wasn't able to go on from his earlier successes. Yet he was able to act in several movies but leading roles were exceptional
To his post-war movies belong "Monsieur Vincent" (47), "Monsieur Fabre" (51), "Au grand balcon" (49), "Dieu a besoin des hommes" (50), "Un grand patron" (51), "La route Napoléon" (53), "Les aristocrates" (55), "Les fanatiques" (57) and "Les vieux de la vieille" (60).

Finally Pierre Fresnay retired disappointed from the film business and appeared exclusively on stage. It lastet ten years before he played in front of the camera again - "Les écrivains" (73) and "Le jardinier" (73).

To Pierre Fresnay's admirers also belongs Alec Guiness who mentioned him in his biography as his favoured actor.

Pierre Fresnay was married three times, among others with the actresses Berthe Bovy and Yvonne Printemps.

Other movies with Pierre Fresnay: 
Ca aussi!...c'est Paris (29) Ame de clown (33) Le roman d'un jeune homme pauvre (35) Königsmark (35) Sous les yeux d'occident (36) Chéri-Bibi (37) La bataille silencieuse (37) Adrienne Lecouvreur (38) Les trois valses (38) Alerte en Méditerranée (38) La charrette fantôme (39) Le briseur de chaînes (41) L'assassin habite...au 21 (42) L'escalier sans fin (43) Je suis avec toi (43) La fille du diable (46) Le visiteur (46) Les condamnés (47) Vient de paraître (49) La valse de Paris (49) Barry (49) Le voyage en Amérique (51) Il est minuit, Docteur Schweitzer (52) Le défroqué (54) Les évadés (55) L'homme aux clefs d'or (56) Les oeufs de l'autruche (57) Et ta soeur (58) Tant d'amour perdu (58) Les affreux (59) La millième fenêtre (60) Tête d'horloge (70)

Le duel (39)