Pierre Clémenti

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Pierre Clémenti
Pierre Clementi.jpg
Pierre André Clémenti

(1942-09-28)28 September 1942
Died27 December 1999(1999-12-27) (aged 57)
Paris, France
ChildrenBalthazar Clémenti and Valentin Clémenti

Pierre André Clémenti (28 September 1942 – 27 December 1999) was a French actor.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Paris to an unknown father and Rose Clémenti, a Corsican concierge whose surname he took, Clémenti had a difficult childhood and took refuge in literature and the theatre. He studied drama and began his acting career in the theatre. He secured his first minor screen roles in Yves Allégret's Jack of Spades ("Chien de pique", 1960), performing alongside Eddie Constantine. Possibly his best remembered role was as the gangster lover/client of the bourgeois prostitute (Catherine Deneuve) in Belle de jour (1967) directed by Luis Buñuel, in whose other film The Milky Way (1969) he played the Devil. He worked with several other European directors, including highly regarded films of the era, such as The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963), Pigsty (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969) and The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970, and Bertolucci's Partner, 1968). Other directors he worked with include Liliana Cavani, Glauber Rocha, Miklós Jancsó, Jacques Rivette, and Philippe Garrel.

In 1972, Clémenti's career was derailed after he was sentenced to prison for allegedly possessing or using drugs. Due to insufficient evidence, he was released after 17 months; later he wrote a book about his time in prison. After his release he played the ever-optimistic sailor of the Potemkin in Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie (1974) and the role of Pablo, the seductive saxophone player, in Fred Haines's Steppenwolf (also 1974) adapted from the novel by Hermann Hesse. Throughout his career he continued to be active in the theatre.

Clémenti was also involved with the French underground film movement, directing several of his own films which often featured fellow underground filmmakers and actors. Visa de censure no X was an experimental work composed of two films. New Old was a feature-length work starring Viva released in 1978. He went on to direct La Révolution ce n'est qu'un début, continuons le combat, In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal and Sun.

He married actress Margareth Clémenti (née Le-Van, 1948), mother of his son Balthazar, born in July 1965. Later he was married to Nadine, mother of his second child, Valentin Clémenti-Arnoult.

He died of liver cancer in 1999.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Director(s) Note(s)
1960 Jack of Spades Paco Yves Allégret
1963 The Leopard Francesco Paolo Luchino Visconti
1967 Belle de Jour Marcel Luis Buñuel
1968 Benjamin Benjamin Michel Deville
1969 Pigsty Young cannibal Pier Paolo Pasolini
1970 The Conformist Lino Bernardo Bertolucci
1971 The Designated Victim Count Matteo Tiepolo Maurizio Lucidi
1972 The Inner Scar Horseman/Archer Philippe Garrel
1981 Le Pont du Nord Julien Jacques Rivette
1987 Un bambino di nome Gesù Sefir Franco Rossi
1989 Hard to Be a God King Peter Fleischmann


  • 1973 Carcere italiano. Milan: Il Formichiere.
  • 2005 Quelques messages personnels. Paris: Gallimard. ISBN 978-2-07-030748-7
  • 2007 Pensieri dal carcere. Fagnano Alto: il Sirente. ISBN 978-88-87847-12-3


External links[edit]