Gérard Philipe

Definition

Theater

  • (1922 - 59) French actor, whose spectacular career wascut short by his sudden death at the age of 37. He was buried in thecostume he wore in Corneille's Le Cid.

    Philipe made his debut in 1943 in the first production ofJean Giraudoux's Sodome et Gomorrhe. Two years later he madehis name in the title role of Albert Camus's Caligula. In thelate 1940s he became a film star, but returned to the stage in 1951,joining the Théâtre National Populaire under Jean Vilar.After drawing in youthful playgoers in Paris with such successes asLe Cid, he toured America, Canada, and Russia. He remainedwith the TNP until his death.

    Philipe was particularly praised for performances in Heinrichvon Kleist's Prinz Friedrich von Homburg (1951), the firstFrench production of Brecht's Mother Courage (1951), Shakespeare'sRichard II (1954), and Musset's Les Caprices de Marianne(1958) and On ne badine pas avec l'amour (1959).

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