Wedding picture with his wife actor Mary Marquet in 1934
5 August 1888
|Died||18 November 1977
Saint-Cannat, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Francen was born in Tienen, the son of a chief of police.
According to Russian sources, he attended opera classes in Odessa before 1914. Was already well known in Russian empire before 1914. Postcards with his portraits were printed and sold.
He worked in trade in Belgium before settling in Paris where he trained in dramatic art under Paul Mounet. His stage career in the 1920s included appearances in plays by Henri Bernstein, Georges Bataille and Edmond Rostand which took him all over the world. After three appearances in silent films, he played the Prophet in Abel Gance's film La Fin du monde (The End of the World) (1931) and established his career as a leading man in French films.
In 1940, he was introduced to American films by Charles Boyer and appeared in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), The Tuttles of Tahiti (1942), Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942), Tales of Manhattan (1942), Mission to Moscow (1943), Madame Curie (1943), The Desert Song (1943), In Our Time (1944), Passage to Marseille (1944), The Mask of Dimitrios (1944), The Conspirators (1944), Confidential Agent (1945), San Antonio (1945), Devotion (1946), Night and Day (1946), The Beast with Five Fingers (1946), The Beginning or the End (1947), To the Victor (1948), Hell and High Water (1954).