Jean Servais

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Jean Servais
Jean-servais-trailer.jpg
Jean Servais in trailer for "La fièvre monte à El Pao" (1959)
Born Jean Servais
(1910-09-24)24 September 1910
Antwerp, Belgium
Died 17 February 1976(1976-02-17) (aged 65)
Paris, France
Occupation Actor
Years active 1932–1939, 1948–1973
Spouse(s) Dominique Blanchar

Jean Servais (French: [sɛʁvɛ]; 24 September 1910 – 17 February 1976) was a Belgian film and stage actor.[1] He acted in many 20th century French cinema productions, from the 1930s through the early 1970s.

He was married to Gilberte Graillot, and later actress Dominique Blanchar.[1]

Career[edit]

Servais trained at the Brussels Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, where he won the Second Prize. His acting skills came to the attention of Raymond Rouleau, and he was hired at the Théâtre du Marais, where he acted in Le mal de jeunesse, which was successful in Brussels and in Paris. He was also a member of Jean-Louis Barrault's theatre company.[1]

His first film role was as the simple country dweller who was the victim of an error by the justice system in the film Criminel (1932), directed by Jack Forrester. Servais's film career continued in the 1930s with roles in films such as La Chanson De L'Adieu (1934) and La Vie Est Magnifique (1938). After a break in acting during World War II, he returned to the screen with roles in films such as La Danse De Mort (1948).

In the 1950s, he appeared in the crime drama Rififi [1][2] (1955), which François Truffaut ranked as the best film noir,[3] directed by American Jules Dassin,[2][3] in which he played a leader of a gang of jewel thieves.[2][3][4]

He appeared in another film directed by Jules Dassin in 1957, He Who Must Die (Celui qui doit mourir). He also appeared in a film written and directed by Luis Buñuel, La fièvre monte à El Pao (1959).

In the 1950s and 1960s, Servais rejoined the Renaud-Barrault theatre troupe for several plays, including La Répétition ou l'Amour puni (1950), Volpone (1955), and Marat/Sade (1966).

In the 1960s, Servais took small character roles in popular international fare such as The Longest Day (1962), an epic recreation of the Allied invasion of Normandy, and That Man from Rio (1964). Other films in which he acted include Le Sahara brûle (1961), Un Soir Par Hasard (1964), and Avec la peau des autres (1966).

He had roles in several films in the early 1970s, such as The Devil's Nightmare (1971), an Italian horror series, and Le Protecteur (1974), about a recently released prisoner who tries to find his daughter who has fallen into the underworld of prostitution.

Selected filmography[edit]

Servais in Amanti senza amore (1948).

Films with roles played by Jean Servais include:

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Yvan Foucart: Dictionnaire des comédiens français disparus, Mormoiron : Éditions cinéma, 2008, p. 1185, ISBN 978-2-9531-1390-7

External links[edit]