15 December 2014

André Roanne

André Roanne (1896-1959) had a long standing career in French cinema of more than 90 films. He started as a kid actor in short silent films in 1914, and ended with the part of the commissioner in Henri Verneuil's Une manche et la belle/A Kiss for a Killer (1957).

André Roanne
Vintage postcard. Photo: publicity still for the early sound film Accusée levez-vous/Accused, Stand Up (Maurice Tourneur, 1930).

André Roanne
French postcard by CE (Cinémagazine-Edition), no. 848. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris. Publicity still for the early sound film Accusée levez-vous/Accused, Stand Up (Maurice Tourneur, 1930).

Big Moustache

André Roanne was born André Albert Louis Rahou in Paris in 1896. He made his film debut as a kid in the short and silent Gaumont production Le films de la divette/The Son of La Divette (Gaston Ravel, 1914).

After various other Gaumont shorts by Gaston Ravel during the First World War, Roanne came to the footlight in the crime serial parody Le pied qui étreint (Jacques Feyder, 1916) opposite Musidora, even if he wore a big moustache.

After more serious Gaumont productions, Roanne had a major part as Segheir ben Cheikh in Jacques Feyder's lengthy oriental drama L'Atlantide/Missing Husbands (Jacques Feyder, 1921), partly shot on location in the Sahara, and recently restored in its original colourful tinting. The leads though were for Jean Angelo as captain Morhange and Stacia Napierkowska as the cruel queen Antinea.

In those years Roanne often played the jeune premier, both in dramas such as in Violettes impériales/Imperial Violets (Henry Roussel, 1924), and comedies such as in Chouchou poids plume/Chouchou Featherweight (Gaston Ravel, 1925), which was one of Roanne's first leads.

André Roanne
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition. Photo: publicity still for Violettes impériales/Imperial Violets (1924).

Raquel Meller, André Roanne
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition. Photo: publicity still for Violettes impériales/Imperial Violets (1924) with Raquel Meller.


In the mid-1920s André Roanne played more and more in international coproductions, shot either in France or abroad. Opposite British silent star Betty Balfour he appeared in La petite bonne du palace/The Little Maid of the Palace (1926) and Cinders (1926), both by Louis Mercanton.

He starred opposite Mady Christians in the Austrian production Die Köningin von Moulin Rouge/The Queen of Moulin Rouge (Robert Wiene, 1926), opposite Liane Haid in the German production Der goldene Abgrund/The Golden Abyss (Mario Bonnard, 1927), and opposite Carmen Boni in Augusto Genina's La storia di una piccola Parigina/The History of a Little Parisian Girl (1928).

In the late 1920s Roanne was often matched with comédienne Dolly Davis as in La merveilleuse journée/The Wonderful Day (René Barberis, 1928).

In Berlin he played opposite Anny Ondra in Sündig und süss/Sinful and Sweet (Carl Lamac, 1929) and Die Kaviarprinzessin/\The caviar Princess (Carl Lamac, 1930), and opposite Louise Brooks in Tagebuch einer Verlorene/Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.

His last silent film was Quand nous étions deux/When We Were Two (Léonce Perret, 1930).

André Roanne
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 8. Photo: Franz Lowy.

André Roanne
French postcard, no. 141. Photo: J. Kruger.


André Roanne made a smooth passage to sound film, acting in films made at the new sound studios of Paramount at Joinville such as La lettre/The Letter (Louis Mercanton, 1930) and other companies.

The international element remained with the Franco-German comedy Ma cousine de Varsovie/My cousin of Warsaw (Carmine Gallone, 1931), Calais-Douvres (Jean Boyer, Anatole Litvak, 1931) opposite Lilian Harvey, Ne sois pas jalouse/Don't Be Jealous (Augusto Genina, 1931), and Le triangle de feu/The Triangle of Fire (Edmond T. Gréville, Johannes Guter, 1932).

He also collaborated again with Dolly Davis in La chanson des nations/The Song of Nations (Maurice Gleize, Rudolf Meinert, 1931).

During the 1930s Roanne played in many average dramas and comedies, of which most titles are forgotten now; often performing opposite Dolly Davis but also with Fernandel, a.o. in Les cinq sous de Lavarède/The Five Cents of Lavarede (Maurice Cammade, 1939).

During the war years Roanne did not play in films. After an isolated part in Macadam (Jacques Feyder, 1946), he had major parts again in the 1950s in comedies starring Fernandel, in addition to smaller parts in other films.

His last role was a Commissioner in the crime film Une manche et la belle/A Kiss for a Killer (Henri Verneuil, 1957), starring Henri Vidal and Mylène Demongeot.

André Roanne died in 1959 in Cannes, France.

André Roanne
French postcard. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris.

André Roanne. publicity for Campari
French postcard. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "Qui dit Campari, dit appétit!"

André Roanne
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6121/2, 1931-1932. Photo: Ufa.

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

1 comment:

Bunched Undies said...

Interesting to see that Roanne often worked with Fernandel. I highly recommend the hilarious Don Camillo films