Pierre Fresnay

Active - 1929 - 1960  |   Born - Apr 4, 1897   |   Died - Jan 9, 1975   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Over and above his near-lifetime association with Paris' Comedie Francaise, French leading man Pierre Fresnay managed to squeeze in quite a few memorable film appearances between 1915 and 1960. He became a film star on both sides of the Atlantic when he appeared as Marius in all three of Marcel Pagnol's "Marseilles Trilogy" (Marius [1931], Fanny [1932] and Cesar [1936]). In 1934, he played Armand in La Dame aux Camelias; Camille was portrayed by Fresnay's wife, Yvonne Printemps. Three years later, he appeared as Captain de Boeldieu in Jean Renoir's antiwar masterpiece La Grande Illusion (1937). One of Pierre Fresnay's few English-speaking roles was as the first-reel murder victim in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). In 1940, Pierre Fresnay turned film director for the first and last time with Le Duel.

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