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11 September 2013

Jacques Charrier

French actor and film producer Jacques Charrier (1936) played leading roles in the late 1950s and 1960s, but gained notoriety when he married Brigitte Bardot. Their brief, tumultuous marriage was punctuated by his personal problems.

Jacques Charrier
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-264. Photo: UFA.

Diary of Anne Frank


Jacques Charrier was born into a family of military men in Metz, France, in 1936. He broke with the family tradition to become an artist. At the age of 17 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg where he tried ceramics.

In 1956 a teacher at the Conservatoire de Montpellier offered him a role in a film, L'Arlésienne based on a novel by Alphonse Daudet. This local film success stimulated him to try his luck in Paris.

As a 20-year old he entered the ENSATT (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre), where he studied with the actress Berthe Bovy.

In 1958, after some odd jobs, he became an extra at the famous Comédie-Française. Then Marguerite Chamois chose him to play one of the leading roles in the play Le Journal d'Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank) with Pascale Audret at the Théâtre Montparnasse.

Jacques Charrier
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 4519. Photo: Paul Apoteker / Unifrance Film / Ufa.

Jacques Charrier
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, nro AX 4072. Photo: NV Standaardfilms. Publicity still for Les Tricheurs/The Cheaters (Marcel Carné, 1958).

Jacques Charrier
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 4071. Photo: NV Standaardfilms. Publicity still for Les Tricheurs/The Cheaters (Marcel Carné, 1958).

The Cheaters


There the famous film director Marcel Carné saw Jacques Charrier and offered him his first film role, Bob in Les Tricheurs/The Cheaters (Marcel Carné, 1958) with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Pascale Petit.

The film, a study of disaffected youth, was a smash hit, and overnight Jacques had become a star.

His next films included Les dragueurs/The Chasers (Jean-Pierre Mocky, 1959) with Charles Aznavour, La main chaude/The Itchy Palm (Gérard Oury, 1960), and the thriller L'oeil du malin/The Third Lover (Claude Chabrol, 1961) with Stéphane Audran.

Jacques Charrier
French Postcard by E.D.U.G. (Editions du Globe), no. 27. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Jacques Charrier
French Postcard by E.D.U.G. (Editions du Globe), no. 71. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Jacques Charrier
French Postcard by E.D.U.G. (Editions du Globe), no. 66. Photo: Sam Lévin.

BB


Brigitte Bardot chose Jacques Charrier as her leading man in the comedy Babette s'en va-t-en guerre/Babette Goes to War (Christian-Jacque, 1959).

During the shooting of the film Brigitte and Jacques fell madly in love. Immediately after the production was finished they married under massive media attention.

At the time, Jacques was just 23 years old, and a year later he became father of their son Nicolas-Jacques Charrier. BB’s baby was again a media event.

Charrier made headlines when he did several suicide attempts and when he withdrew from National Service on health grounds. In 1962 Jacques and Brigitte divorced and from then on he took care of their son.

Brigitte Bardot, Jacques Charrier
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 4518. Photo: Paul Apoteker / Unifrance Film / Ufa. Publicity still for Babette s'en va-t-en guerre/Babette Goes to War (1959) with Brigitte Bardot.

Jacques Charrier
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb.

Jacques Charrier, Marie-José Nat
German postcard by Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2.625. Retail price: 0,20 MDN. Photo: Progress. Still from La Vie Conjugale/Anatomy of a Marriage (1963) with Marie-José Nat.

Anatomy Of A Marriage



Jacques Charrier continued acting in films like the comedy À cause, à cause d'une femme/Because of a Woman (Michel Deville, 1962) opposite Mylène Demongeot, and Carmen 63/Carmen di Trastevere (Carmine Gallone, 1963).

Unique was the experiment Françoise ou la vie conjugale/Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Françoise and Jean-Marc ou La vie conjugale/Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Jean-Marc (André Cayatte, both 1964). The two films tell the same story, but the first one was made from the wife's point of view, and the second from the husband's.

In 1969 Jacques founded the film company Les Films Marquise to produce low budget films. He produced and starred in films like Sirokkó/Winter Wind (Miklos Jancso, 1969) with Marina Vlady, Eglantine (Jean-Claude Brialy, 1971), and Les volets clos/Closed Shutters (Jean-Claude Brialy, 1973) with Marie Bell.

Jacques Charrier
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 960. Presented by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Lucienne Chevert.

Jacques Charrier
German Postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 2744. Photo: Silver / Cinetel / Gloria-Film. Publicity still for Les tricheurs/The Cheaters (1958).

Jacques Charrier
German Postcard by Kolibri-Verlag no. 824. Photo: Deutsche Cosmopol Film. Publicity still for Les dragueurs/The Dredgers (1959).

A Damning Riposte


In the 1980’s he returned to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts to study painting. His work would be exhibited in Paris, Genève and San Francisco.

In 1996 he found himself back in the media spotlights once more when Brigitte Bardot published her memoirs, Initiales BB/Initials BB in which she excoriated him.

In 1997 he answered with his own publication, Ma réponse à Brigitte Bardot/My Answer to Brigitte Bardot, a damning riposte to his ex-wife who once referred to her pregnancy as a 'tumour' growing inside her.

Nicolas Charrier won damages for hurt feelings.

Jacques Charrier
French Postcard by E.D.U.G. (Editions du Globe), no. 25. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Jacques Charrier
French postcard by Editions P.I., no. FK 120A, offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Ufa.


Scene from Les Tricheurs (1958). Source: Le canard en rut (Daily Motion)

Sources: Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

12 comments:

Linda said...

Handsome! I also liked your Gracie Fields post. Happy PFF.

Beth Niquette said...

What a handsome man he was! I have to say, I loved The Diary of Ann Frank. I checked it out of the library many times when I was a gradeschooler.

Thank you for all you do in your posts--your blog is SO interesting!

Happy PFF!

Joy said...

I thought the car ride clip was going to end badly, and it did.
Smouldering good looks, can see why BB married him.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I hadn't heard about the Anatomy of a Marriage experiment. It sounds very interesting. Two sides to every story, exactly as between Carrier and BB.

Postcardy said...

I think he is better-looking than most actors.

viridian said...

handsome! I like the 'come hither' looks.

Dorincard said...

I like your unusual blog! :)

峻帆 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。...............................................................

志穎 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。...............................................................

Debs @ Vintage Postcard Gallery said...

great post as usual! can anybody else see tobey maguire's eyes in the younger images of him?

Clytie said...

Wow, he was a good looking young man. His blue eyes sure stand out! Too bad he had so many hardships in life. As always, I enjoy your interesting and informative posts!

Happy PFF!

Toni Webb said...

Jacques Charrier is the most handsome man ever!