André Deed

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André Deed
Born Henri André Augustin Chapais
(1879-02-22)February 22, 1879
Le Havre, France
Died October 4, 1940(1940-10-04) (aged 61)
Paris, France
Occupation Actor and director
Years active 1901-1939
Spouse(s) Valentina Frascaroli

Henri André Chapais, known as André Deed, was a French-born actor and director, best known for his Foolshead comedies, produced in the 1900s and 1910s. André Deed was one of the first named actors in cinema, and his film series based around Foolshead were a global success.

Life and career[edit]

Born Henri André Augustin Chapais in Le Havre on February 22, 1879, Chapais was the son of a customs official. The family moved to Nice when Henri André was young. Unusually for an actor, he attended lycée in Nice, while acting with a small theatre company.

Start of film and stage career[edit]

André Deed moved to Paris and began to appear in vaudeville theatre and cabaret, including at the Folies Bergère.

In 1901, cinema pioneer Georges Méliès directed André Deed in several films. Deed would later incorporate many of Méliès' trick-shots into his comedies.[1]

Films for Pathé[edit]

Move to Italy and world tour[edit]

In 1908, Deed negotiated a lucrative move to the Itala studios in Turin, and he began starring and directing in the Cretinetti comedy series. Alberto Collo and Emilio Ghione, who would become two of the most famous Italian actors of the 1910s, and Deed's future wife, Valentina Frascaroli, were amongst the supporting cast in these films.

In 1913, Deed embarked on a world theatrical tour with Frascaroli, taking in Europe and Latin America.

World War One[edit]

Despite being thirty-five years of age, André was conscripted into the reserves. In 1915, Giovanni Pastrone asked him to return to Turin to continue the Cretinetti series for Itala films. Deed made the feature film, Cretinetti e gli stivali del brasilero (Cretinetti and the Brazilian's boots), which featured Bartolomeo Pagano, the star of Cabiria and the Maciste series, in a cameo role.

By 191X, Deed returned to France and served in various logistics and infantry regiments. It is likely that he served in the trenches at some point, but nothing is known about his war service, beyond the dates of his transfers between regiments. In 1918, Deed married Valentina Frascaroli.[2] Deed was demobilised in 1919.

Post-war period: between Italy and France[edit]

Deed planned a trilogy of fantasy-adventure films: Il documento umano (1920), L'Uomo Meccanico (The Mechanical Man) (1921) and Lo strano amore di Mado, which was never made.

End of career[edit]

Deed finished his career working as a warehouseman at the Pathe film studios located in the Parisian suburb of Joinville-le-Pont.[3]

Death[edit]

André Deed died on October 4, 1940 and is buried at the Cimetière de Thiais, near Paris. He was survived by his wife, Valentina Frascaroli, who died in 1955.

Pseuydonym in various countries[edit]

Comic style[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • (Italian) Abrate, Piero and Longo, Germano (1997). Cento Anni di cinema in Piemonte. Turin: Abacus Edizioni.
  • (Italian) Brunetta, Gian Piero (2008). Il cinema muto italiano. Bari: Laterza.
  • Le Forestier, Laurent. Deed, André. Published in: Abel, Richard (ed.). (2005) Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. London: Routledge. Pages 168-169.
  • (Italian) Lotti, Denis (2008). Emilio Ghione, l'ultimo apache. Bologna: Edizioni Cineteca di Bologna

References[edit]

  1. ^ Le Forestier, Laurent. Deed, André. Published in: Abel, Richard (ed.). (2005) Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. London: Routledge. Pags 168-169.
  2. ^ Abrate, Piero and Longo, Germano (1997). Cento Anni di cinema in Piemonte. Turin: Abacus Edizioni. Page 92.
  3. ^ Le Forestier, Laurent. Deed, André. Published in: Abel, Richard (ed.). (2005) Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. London: Routledge. Pags 168-169.

External links[edit]