11 October 2015

Leny Escudéro (1932-2015)

On 9 October 2015, French singer and actor Leny Escudéro has died. The popular Escudéro did not want to be a star, but performed his songs to help others. He also appeared in committed roles in films and on TV.

Leny Escudero (1932-2015)
French postcard by Publistar. Photo: Henri Rzepski.

Leny Escudéro (1932-2015)
French postcard by Editions L'age des Idoles / Publistar, Marseille, no. 936. Photo: Henri Rzepski.

Leny Escudero
French postcard by Editions Publistar, Marseille, no. 813. Photo: Henri Rzepski.

Success, Celebrity and Fortune

Leny Escudéro was born as Joaquim Leni Escudero in 1932 in Espinal, Spain. His parents were Spanish republicans, who left their country that was destroyed by the civil war of 1939. They went to live in Paris, where they met hard times.

After some odd jobs Leny started his singing career in 1957. In 1962 he made his first record, Pour une amourette, which brought immediate success, celebrity and fortune. He detested stardom and left for a long world tour to South America, the Middle East, the United States, Russia and Africa.

Escudéro was a singer/songwriter with a very characteristic voice, which is captivating, emotional and very sincere. Between 1970 and 1990 he sang about actual, socially important subjects. His themes are the Spanish war, dictatorships, and how maltreated many people on our planet are.

His album Escudero 71 received the Grand prix of the Académie Charles Cros. Among his most beautiful and poetic chansons is Ballade à Sylvie, and he was also well known as singer of Lily Marlene.

Leny Escudero
French postcard by Editions Publistar, Marseille, no. 769. Photo: Henri Rzepski.

Lény Escudero
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 294. Photo: Herman Leonard.

Leny Escudéro (1932-2015)
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 1251. Photo: Laguens / Polydor.

Leny Escudéro (1932-2015)
French promotion card by Polydor.

Leny Escudero
Belgian postcard by S. Best, Anvers (Antwerp), no. 25. Gift card for Victoria chocolates.

Lény Escudero
French postcard by E.D.U.G., Marseille, no. 295. Photo: Herman Leonard / BelAir.


Since the 1970s Leny Escudéro was also active as an actor. In 1973 he appeared in the TV film Babeau (Philipe Bordier, 1973), for which he also composed the score.

Later followed films like the political thriller La femme flic/The Woman Cop (Yves Boisset, 1980) starring Miou-Miou, Rouget le braconnier (Gilles Cousin, 1989), Le dénommé/No Time for Justice (Jean-Claude Dague, 1990), and a few TV series.

In these films Leny Escudéro often played an immigrant or a gypsy. His father was actually a gypsy. In 2015, he published his autobiography, Ma vie n'a pas commencé.

He was married to Celeste Bettencourt Escudero. They had three children, Christine, Stéfany and Julian. The latter accompanied his father on the guitar during his concerts and wrote the music for several of his songs. Two of his eight grandchildren later also accompanied him on the guitar.

Leny Escudéro died on 9 October 2015 at his home in Giverny, near Vernon in France, as a result of acute lung failure.

Live performance of Pour une amourette. Source: Ina Chansons (YouTube).

Live performance of Si tu es reine. Source: Ina Chansons (YouTube).

Leny Escudéro performing at the Olympia in 2007, accompanied by his grandchildren. Source: ClarisseCaterino (YouTube).

Sources: Leny Escudero-Le Site Officiel (French), Marc Dzalba-Lyndis (Leny Escudero, chanteur de la liberté - French), Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.


Judith Richards Shubert said...

I absolutely love his music! Thank you so much for sharing the video, too. I plan to put it on one of my blogs. Happy PFF!

Bob of Holland said...

Thank you for your comment. I discovered Leny through the postcard.