'Octopussy' actor Louis Jourdan dies at 93
French actor Louis Jourdan, best known for his role in Oscar-winning movie 'Gigi' and as the villain in James Bond film 'Octopussy', has passed away. He was 93.
Los Angeles: French actor Louis Jourdan, best known for his role in Oscar-winning movie 'Gigi' and as the villain in James Bond film 'Octopussy', has passed away. He was 93.
Jourdan died on Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills, according to his friend and biographer Olivier Minne, reported Variety.
"He was the last French figure of the Hollywood golden age. And he worked with so many of the greatest actors and directors," said Minne, who is working on a documentary and a book about Jourdan.
Born in Marseille, France as Louis Gendre, he was raised in Cannes and received his training as an actor at the Ecole Dramatique.
Jourdan's film debut came in 1939 film 'Le Corsaire', and he appeared in several movies made by director Marc Allegret as war was raging in Europe, including 'Les petites du quai aux fleurs' and 'Twilight'.
The actor had made his English-language debut in Alfred Hitchcock's 1947 thriller 'The Paradine Case', playing a valet with mysterious motives.
In Vincente Minnelli's 1958 musical confection 'Gigi', Jourdan starred with Leslie Caron and Chevalier in an effort from the 'My Fair Lady' team of Lerner & Loewe, turning the Collette tale into a Frenchified version of 'Pygmalion'.
The film won nine Oscars, while Jourdan was not among those honoured, he did receive a Golden Globe nomination in the comedy/musical actor category.
Raising his profile in the 1980s were his appearances in Wes Craven's campy monster movie 'Swamp Thing' and 'Octopussy'.
On TV he appeared in the NBC telepic 'Run a Crooked Mile' with Mary Tyler Moore in 1969. He also played the villain in a TV version of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' opposite Richard Chamberlain.
He made his final TV appearance in 1986 telepic 'Beverly Hills Madam', starring Faye Dunaway. The actor returned to the big screen for a 'Swamp Thing' sequel in 1989 and retired to the South of France and Beverly Hills in 1992 after appearing in Peter Yates' 'Year of the Comet'.
In 2010 the actor was awarded the Legion d'Honneur in Los Angeles. Friends including Sidney Poitier and Kirk Douglas were there to congratulate him.
His son Louis Henry Jourdan died of a drug overdose in 1981 and wife, Berthe Frederique 'Quique' Jourdan, to whom he was married for more than six decades, passed away last year.