04 April 2017

Lucien Baroux

Comic French actor Lucien Baroux (1888-1968) started in the theatre as a stage manager. After the First World War he appeared in many operettas and comedies. From the 1930s on, he also had a long career in the French cinema.

Lucien Baroux
French postcard by PC, no. 139. Photo: Ufa.

Lucien Baroux
French postcard by SERP, no. 63. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

A Flair for Comedy

Lucien Baroux was born Marcel Lucien Ducros in Toulouse, France, in 1888. At his birth, he bore the name of his mother Camille Julie Ducros, because his father was unknown. Three years later, his mother married with Jules Etienne Barou who, recognised and legitimised him and the little Marcel was now called Barou.

He started his career in the theatre as a stage manager, but also appeared as an extra in many silent films of the 1910s, such as Britannicus (Camille de Morlhon, 1912).

He was a soldier during the First World War. After the war he resumed his activities as stage manager but he also launched a formidable career as an actor in both the theatre and the cinema.

He had his breakthrough when he replaced an ill actor in Souris d'hôtel. He showed a flair for comedy and became popular in musical comedies and operettas. He performed at the Théâtre Michel, and for seven years at Bouffes-Parisiens.

He also participated in the Karsenty tour for Molière’s L'École des femmes (The School for Wives) with Pierre Dux and Huguette Hue. He appeared in several popular operettas and created such unforgettable roles as Jacques Cocardier in J'adore ça (1925), Captain Harris in Passionément (1926), Dumontel in Déshabillez-vous! (1928), and Jim in Brummell (1931).

Lucien Baroux
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 823. Photo: Paramount.

Lucien Baroux
French postcard by Editions Chantal, Paris. no. 84. Photo: Paramount.

Humour and Fantasy

With his humour and fantasy, Lucien Baroux became a popular film character actor after the introduction of the sound film. He appeared as Laurent XVII in the film La Mascotte/The Mascot (Léon Mathot, 1935) and returned in the role in the 1956 recording of La Mascotte.

Among his other films of the 1930s are Tout pour l'amour/Everything for Love (Henri-Georges Clouzot, Joe May, 1933) with Jan Kiepura, and Derrière la façade/Behind the facade (Georges Lacombe, Yves Mirande, 1939).

Until 1962, he appeared in more than 80 films, including Valse brillante/Brilliant Waltz (Jean Boyer, 1949) with Marta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura, and Napoléon (Sacha Guitry, 1955).

His final film was Le Diable et les Dix Commandements/The Devil and the Ten Commandments (Julien Duvivier, 1962) in which he made a picturesque tandem with Michel Simon.

In 1964, Lucien Baroux took part in the complete recording of Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid) by Molière on L'Encyclopédie Sonore Hachette. He played Monsieur Diafoirus opposite Michel Galabru.

Lucien Baroux died in 1968 in Hossegro, France.

Lucien Baroux
French postcard by EPC. no. 132.

Lucien Baroux
French postcard, no. 84.

Sources: Wikipedia (English and French) and IMDb.

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