Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Shortly after his birth, Montand's family left Italy for France. (Later, when they applied for French citizenship, his father pretended that they did so in order to escape Mussolini's regime, in fact they emigrated in 1921, whereas Mussolini didn't came to power before 1922.) Montand came to grow up in Marseille, where as a young man he worked in his sister's barber shop, and later on the docks. He began a career in show business as a music-hall singer. In 1944 he was discovered by Edith Piaf in Paris and she made him part of her act, becoming his mentor and lover.
He would go on to international recognition, starring in numerous films. In 1951 Montand married the actress Simone Signoret, and they co-starred in several films throughout their respective careers. The marriage was by all accounts was fairly harmonious, lasting until her death in 1985, although Montand had a number of well-publicised affairs.
During his career he acted in a number of American motion pictures as well as on Broadway. He was nominated for a Cesar Award for "Best Actor" in 1980 for the film "I comme Icare" and again in 1984 for "Garçon !"
In 1986, after his international box-office draw power had fallen off considerably, the 65-year-old Montand gave one of his most memorable performances as the scheming uncle in the two-part film: Jean de Florette co-starring Gerard Depardieu and Manon des Sources co-starring Emmanuelle Béart. The film was a world-wide critical hit and raised Montand's profile somewhat in the US, which he took in stride, making an appearance on the David Letterman program.
His only child, Valentin Montand, the son of his assistant Carole Amiel, was born in 1988.
In 2004, his stepdaughter Catherine Allégret (Simone Signoret's daughter from her first marriage) published a book titled "World Upside Down" where she contended that Montand had abused her sexually since she was five years old.
Filmography, as actor, includes
- IP5 (1991)
- Jean de Florette (1986)
- Manon des Sources (1986)
- Garçon ! (1983)
- I comme Icare (1979)
- Le Fond de L'air Est Rouge (1977)
- Vincent, François, Paul...Et les Autres (1974)
- État de Siège (1973)
- César et Rosalie (1972)
- Tout va Bien (1972)
- L'Aveu (1970)
- Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
- L'Aveu (1969)
- Z (1968)
- Vivre pour Vivre (1967)
- Grand Prix (1966)
- La Guerre est finie (1966)
- Compartiment tueurs (1965)
- La Grande Strada Azzurra (1957)
- Le Salaire de la Peur (1953)
- Les Portes de la Nuit (1946)
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