Guy Marchand, actor and musician, died

Guy Marchand, actor and musician, died


If paradise exists, we wish that Saint Peter had given his place there to San Antonio. For Guy Marchand, as for the hero of Frédéric Dard, action, great drama and truculence will remain for centuries the only holy trinity of value.

Flambeur, spendthrift, braggart, self-proclaimed thug before the Lord… This big mouth and simply “mouth”, of French cinema, is dead, his children announced to Agence France-Presse, Friday December 15. Ex-paratrooper, jazz crooner as comfortable with a clarinet as a polo player, he loved the punchy response, the slamming formula, the green language. As if it was keeping him alive. That and love. “Audiard is my master. For what ? Because it’s literature and the street , he said. I’m just a little thug from the 19th , I care about that, those origins. In my neighborhood, it was easier to say “motherfucker” than “how are you?” I called the Prince of Liège, “fat ass”, and Deneuve, “Catherine d’Occase” – in fact it was Depardieu who gave her this joke. »

Born May 22, 1937, Guy Marchand is the son of Raymond the communist mechanic ( He, it’s not complicated, it’s Gabin in Remorques ) and Germaine, “fantastic beauty” who wanted to enter the orders . Until the end, he kept his mother’s photo prominently on his desk and her ashes in his bedroom.

A pedigree of a kid from Paris, then: Place des Fêtes, Belleville, the discovery of cinemas, starting with Le Danube, a cinema on Boulevard Sérurier, which he frequented with his friend Claude Moine, alias “Eddy Mitchell” ( Eddy Mitchell” We were in love with Rita Hayworth. We dreamed of entering the screen” , and then the jazz clubs, a detour through the Foreign Legion, and finally the first appearances on the screen, because as a paratrooper, he was found one fine day on the set of The Longest Day .

Guy Marchand never refused life what it offered him, and never a role when his bank account was empty – which was often the case. More than 150 films on the clock. Of these supporting roles which end up stealing the spotlight. Musician for François Truffaut, loulou for Pialat, cop for Claude Miller (which earned him a César in 1982, in Garde à vue ). We will have seen it with Claude Zidi as with Christophe Honoré. Not stuttering.

” Thank you Madam “

“On my grave, we will inscribe: ‘Thank you, madam’,” he suggested with a laugh when we went to visit him in May 2017, in his house in Mollégès, near Cavaillon. It was after the release of Carine Tardieu’s sympathetic Take Me Out of a Doubt . That day, he complained – was complained, rather: happy to be an actor, of course, but why, damn it, give him the role of a grandfather? What I remember from my performance is a trip to Brittany with half board for elderly people. It’s the same in the next film: at 80, I’m asked if I can limp a little more… But I box every day for half an hour on my bag, I do ten laps of my field, I’m Clint Eastwood’s school! When will I be offered a film with him? Even an old movie, damn it! »

A ladies’ man, he was completely crazy about the last one, Adelina, Russian, Buryat from Siberia, forty years his junior, married and divorced from a French count, with two young children, for whom he got up at dawn when she was coming to visit her from Berlin where she lived and he had to pick her up at the Marseille airport. He already had two grown-up children from Béatrice Chatelier, whom he met on the set of Les Sous-doués en vacances . He said, proud and straight: “Before I was handsome, but a little old-fashioned, eh, like a sales representative, that had an effect with women, now I no longer have an effect but I am pitiful, that works too. » Humor for the last cartridge.

Guy Marchand and Louis Garrel in the film “Dans Paris” (2006).

There were wounds in this Rouletabille who devoured life so as not to be devoured by death; who imitated Jouvet, took you up on tirades from La Femme du boulanger, by Pagnol, sang to you without you having asked Destinée , the song he performs on the soundtrack of Les Sous-doués en vacances and Santa Claus is a junk ; made you witness his financial or paternal setbacks: “My daughter, she always thinks I’m drunk, talking like that. »

There was anxiety behind this compulsive mutt. He didn’t let anything show, except for an injury, probably more anecdotal than the others that he liked to tell about, because it had helped him a lot, he said: in 1980, he had acted in Beyond of glory, by Samuel Fuller: “I charged into the middle of the tanks on horseback!,” he said. Gorgeous. He cut everything off. And then, I saw the film again in an extended version, the “director’s cut”, as they say, in 2008… They had postponed my charge! » His laughter carried you away, joyful and innocent: “It was from this time that I learned to throw my ego aside. I went through the cinema as a tourist. But what is fantastic about it is that the present is eternity. »


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