Entertainment Celebrity French actor Louis Jourdan dies

French actor Louis Jourdan dies

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Veteran French actor Louis Jourdan, who starred in Gigi and Octopussy, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 93.

Jourdan died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home on Saturday, his official biographer Olivier Minne says

“He embodied French elegance and Hollywood offered him the parts to go with that,” Minne said.

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Like his contemporaries Maurice Chevalier and Jean-Pierre Aumont, Jourdan used his Gallic charm and good looks to conquer Hollywood.

Charming Louis Jourdan, with Dana Andrews and Lili Palmer in 1948 film No Vices. Photo: AAP

Over his decades-long career he starred in dozens of films and TV series, acting alongside movie greats such as Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Shirley MacLaine.

In one of his most memorable performances, he played a leading role in the Oscar-winning 1958 musical Gigi.

He also notably starred in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy, where he took a departure from his usual romantic hero persona to play the villain.

Born in Marseille in 1921, he made his debut on French screens in 1939, acting in a string of romantic comedies.

He put his career on hold during the Second World War, when he joined the Resistance.

He was lured to Hollywood by producer David O. Selznick and made his American debut in the 1947 Alfred Hitchcock drama The Paradine Case.

The actor famously said he never watched any of his own movies and described himself as Hollywood’s “French cliche”.

His final appearance on the big screen was in the 1992 film Year of the Comet.

Jourdan has two stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and was awarded France’s Legion of Honour in 2010.

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