Georges Guétary

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Georges Guétary
Georges Guétary.jpg
Georges Guétary
Lambros Vorloou

February 8, 1915
DiedSeptember 13, 1997 (aged 82)
Spouse(s)Janine Guyon

Georges Guétary, born Lambros Vorloou (Greek: Λάμπρος Βορλόου Lambros Vorloou [ˈlambros vorˈlou]; February 8, 1915 – September 13, 1997) was a French singer, dancer, cabaret performer and film actor, best known for his role in the 1951 musical An American in Paris.

Early life and career[edit]

Guétary was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to Greek parents. His father was a textile executive. He studied music in Egypt and in Paris, and made his stage debut in 1937. He performed as a singer and dancer with the famed chanteuse Mistinguett at the Casino de Paris.[1]

The British newspaper The Independent said at the time of his death that "part of Guétary's exotic charm, and much of his stage persona as a 'Latin lover' with a voice of creme Chantilly resided in his mischievous innocence combined with an erotic mystery inherent in his ancestry."[1]

His first film appearance was in the musical Quand le cœur chante (1938). He also appeared many times at the Théâtre du Châtelet and in numerous other French motion picture and TV films.[2]

He changed his name after Guéthary during World War II, to forestall scrutiny from officials who were deporting foreigners to concentration camps. Guétary became a French citizen in 1950.[2]

After the war, Guétary appeared on stage in London and New York. He received critical praise for his performance in London opposite Lizbeth Webb in the 1947 operetta Bless the Bride, which ran for nearly a thousand performances.[1]

January 5, 1949, Georges Guétary recorded the first version of the song Maître Pierre. This song composed by Henri Betti with the lyrics by Jacques Plante would be a great success performed by many singers and accordionists.

On Broadway, Guétary appeared in Arms and the Girl with Nanette Fabray in 1950. He received a Tony Award for Best Foreign Performer.[1]

An American in Paris and afterwards[edit]

Guétary was best known in the United States for his role as Henri Baurel in An American in Paris, in which he plays a friend, and unknowing romantic rival, of the American painter Jerry Mulligan, played by Gene Kelly. In the film, Guétary plays an aging cabaret performer who is in love with a young girl played by Leslie Caron.[3] She falls in love with Mulligan.

Guétary (left) and Kelly agree that "'s wonderful" to be in love. A pensive Oscar Levant is not so sure.

Kelly was nearly three years older than Guétary,[4] and the role was originally intended for the much older Maurice Chevalier, who turned down the part.[3] Kelly's biographer, Clive Hirschhorn, said that Kelly recruited Guétary for the part even though he knew that Guétary was too young.[5] In its review, however, Variety said that Guétary was "cast neatly as the older man."[3]

In the film, Guétary is noted for a solo number in which he strides up a stairway singing George Gershwin's Stairway to Paradise. He also appeared with Kelly in a rendition of Gershwin's 'S Wonderful in which both sing, without the other knowing it, about their love for Caron. At the end of the film, the object of their affection, Caron, chooses to go with Kelly despite her affection for Guétary.

Guétary's role in American in Paris turned out to be his only appearance in a Hollywood film. He returned to the stage and films in France. In 1958, he appeared on Broadway in the musical Portofino. New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson said he was "the kissingest philanderer the season has produced."[2]

Guétary was married to Janine Guyon, a producer in French television. They had two children.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1936 Rigolboche
1938 Quand le coeur chante
1940 Monsieur Hector Danseur tyrolien Uncredited
1942 The Lost Woman Le chanteur à la fête
1943 L'inévitable M. Dubois Voice, Uncredited
1945 The Black Cavalier le seigneur Ramon de Ortila
1946 Trente et quarante Le comte Mario de Miranda
1947 Les Aventures de Casanova Le chevalier Giacomo Casanova de Seingalt
1949 Jo la Romance Georges Hyverlin
1950 Amour et Compagnie Claude Andrieux
1951 An American in Paris Henri Baurel
1951 Paris Still Sings Georges Guétary
1952 Une fille sur la route Carlo Cortez / Jacques Gary
1952 Plume au vent Claude Magazelle
1953 Saluti e baci Himself
1953 À vos ordres Ernestine
1954 Baron Tzigane Sandor Barinkay
1955 Love Is Just a Fairytale Mario, Sänger
1956 The Road to Paradise Pierre
1956 Vergiß wenn Du kannst Singer
1957 Une nuit aux Baléares Miguel de Santa Floris
1960 C'est arrivé à 36 chandelles Himself Uncredited


  1. ^ a b c d Kirkup, James (1997-09-20). "Obituary: Georges Guetary". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  2. ^ a b c d Van Gelder, Lawrence (1997-09-20). "Georges Guetary, 82, Suave French Singer, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  3. ^ a b c "An American in Paris". Variety. 1951-08-29. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  4. ^ "Eugene Curran Kelly was born on Aug. 23, 1912, in Pittsburgh." Krebs, Albin (1996-02-03). "Gene Kelly, Dancer of Vigor and Grace, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  5. ^ Hirschhorn, Clive (1984). Gene Kelly: a biography. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-312-31802-4.

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