03 August 2021


Just like the more famous Dranem, Louis-Jacques Boucot aka Boucot (1882-1949) was a comical actor known for his vivacity and grimaces who knew a career from music-hall to cinema. The French stage and screen actor was famous for his comic characters of Pénard and Babylas.

French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 528. Photo: Paramount.

Silent films by Pathé Frères

Louis-Jacques Boucot also known under the pseudonyms Louis Boucaud or (Louis) Boucot was born in Paris in 1882.

In 1910, Boucot started acting at Pathé Frères and made his debut in Une petite femme bien douce/A very sweet little woman (Georges Denola, 1910), scripted and performed by Mistinguett.

By 1911 he had his own comedies such as the comedy Un ami trop entreprenant/A friend who is too enterprising (N.N., 1911) with Paulette Lorsy, and La dame de compagnie/The lady companion (Louis Feuillere, 1911), in which he appeared anonymously.

In the same year, he also developed the popular comic character of Babylas in various shorts directed by Alfred Machin. Sometimes, Machin's pet panther Mimir acted in these films too, such as in Babylas vient d'hériter d'une panthère/Babylas has just inherited a panther (1911). The last comedy in the series was Babylas va se marier/Babylas is getting married (Alfred Machin, 1912).

In 1912 Boucot also developed another character, Pénard, with whom he made 16 short comedies in 1912-1913, all for Pathé.

Louis-Jacques Boucot
French postcard in the Nos artistes dans leur loge series, no. 121. Photo: Comoedia, Paris.

Louis-Jacques Boucot
French postcard in the Nos artistes dans leur loge series, no. 183. Photo: Comoedia, Paris.

Leads in sound films

During the First World War, Boucot acted in only one Babylas comedy, Babylas marraine/Babylas godmother (N.N., 1917).

In the 1920s, he also appeared in only one film, La première idylle de Boucot/Boucot's first idyll (Robert Saidreau, 1920).

He only returned to the screen when the sound film had set in. Between 1930 and 1938, he would act in 14 films such as the drama Une femme a menti/A woman lied (Charles de Rochefort, 1930) for Paramount, the musical comedy Arthur (Léonce Perret, 1931) with Boucot in the lead, and Le costaud des PTT/The strong PTT (Jean Bertin, 1931) in which he sang several songs.

The following years he could be seen in La bonne aventure/The Nice Adventure (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1932) with again Boucot in the lead, Brevet 95-75/Patent 95-75 (Pierre Miquel, 1934), and the crime film Le puritain/The Puritan (Jeff Musso, 1938) with Pierre Fresnay and Jean-Louis Barrault.

His final films were the Operetta Les trois valses/Three Waltzes (Ludwig Berger, 1938) starring Yvonne Printemps and Pierre Fresnay and based on music by Oscar Straus, and La Présidente/The president (Fernand Rivers, 1938), starring Elvire Popesco.

Boucot passed away in his hometown Paris in 1949. He was 66.

Boucot in Arthur (1930)
Belgian postcard bt Ern. Thill, Bruxelles (Nels). Photo: R. Tomarif (?), Nice / Les Films Osso. Boucot in Arthur (Léonce Perret, 1930).

French postcard by A.N. (A. Noyer), Paris, no. 709. Photo: Les Films Osso. Louis-Jacques Boucot aka Boucot.

Sources: Wikipedia (French and English), and IMDb.

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