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André Bourvil
Bourvil in 1967
André Robert Raimbourg

(1917-07-27)27 July 1917
Died23 September 1970(1970-09-23) (aged 53)
Paris, France
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active1941–1970
ChildrenPhilippe Raimbourg
Dominique Raimbourg

André Robert Raimbourg (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃dʁe ʁɔbɛʁ ʁɛ̃buʁ]; 27 July 1917 – 23 September 1970), better known as André Bourvil (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃dʁe buʁˈvil]), and mononymously as Bourvil, was a French actor and singer best known for his roles in comedy films, most notably in his collaboration with Louis de Funès in the films Le Corniaud (1965) and La Grande Vadrouille (1966). For his performance in Le Corniaud, he won a Special Diploma at the 4th Moscow International Film Festival.[1]


His father was killed in the First World War before Bourvil was born. As a result, he spent his entire childhood in the village of Bourville, from which he took his stage name. He married Jeanne Lefrique on 23 January 1943. After a battle with Kahler's syndrome, which attacks the bone marrow, he died at the age of 53.[2] He is buried in Montainville, Yvelines.

Bourvil with his sons Philippe and Dominique Raimbourg, in 1959


In his comic performances Bourvil principally played roles of gentle and well-meaning characters who were often a bit obtuse or naïve, such as his roles opposite the hyperactive, dishonest and bossy ones played by Louis de Funès. Bourvil's characters not only managed to make viewers laugh, but also to save themselves, often unwittingly, from the Machiavellian designs of his adversaries.

Bourvil was, however, also capable of more dramatic roles such as the handyman in L'Arbre de Noël (1969). In this role he observes the relationship between a man he works for and the young son who has fallen ill. The audience can identify with the character played by Bourvil, just as they can in his comic roles, so often as a simple man. One can also note his role of Monsieur Thénardier in the film adaptation of Les Misérables (1958), and his penultimate role as the policeman Mattei in Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Cercle rouge (1970).

In March 1948, Bourvil took part in the complete recording of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann with artists of the Paris Opéra-Comique conducted by André Cluytens, playing the four 'servant' roles.



Nearly 300, among which the best known are:

  • "La tendresse"
  • "Salade de fruits"
  • "Les crayons"
  • "La Tactique du gendarme" (from the film Le roi Pandore)
  • "Ballade irlandaise"
  • "Un clair de lune à Maubeuge"
  • "Petit bal perdu" (C'était bien)
  • "Ma p'tite chanson"
  • "Je t'aime moi non plus" (humouristic version), in duet with Jacqueline Maillan


  1. ^ "4th Moscow International Film Festival (1965)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  2. ^ Philippe Crocq; Jean Mareska (2006). Bourvil. De rire et de tendresse (in French). Éditions Privat. p. 12.

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French links[edit]