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Michael Lemmers

Michael Lemmers

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One of the most prolific mainstays of European cinema since the 1960s, Philippe Leroy had the distinction of acting in movies made by a range of major filmmakers. His first appearance was in the last film directed by Jacques Becker, "Le Trou," the gritty retelling of a real-life Parisian prison break that was cast largely with non-actors. The movie, however, bolstered Leroy's status as a pro. Within a few years, he was costarring with the likes of Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, and David Niven in the big-time American historical epic "55 Days at Peking," directed by the legendary auteur Nicholas Ray. On the opposite end of the spectrum, he crested with the scrappy French New Wave, playing a cuckolded husband in Jean-Luc Godard's chic drama "Une Femme Mariée." Years later, he appeared in Luc Besson's glossy spy thriller "La Femme Nikita," a capstone of a movement that emerged from the rubble of the New Wave: the "Cinéma du look." Much of Leroy's output, however, came out of his adoptive home of Italy. He played the title role in "I, Leonardo," an award-winning TV miniseries, before appearing in Liliana Cavani's succès de scandale "The Night Porter," which famously linked fascism with sadomasochism....

One of the most prolific mainstays of European cinema since the 1960s, Philippe Leroy had the distinction of acting in movies made by a range of major filmmakers. His first appearance was in the last film directed by Jacques Becker, "Le Trou," the gritty retelling of a real-life Parisian prison break that was cast largely with non-actors. The movie, however, bolstered Leroy's status as a pro. Within a few years, he was costarring with the likes of Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, and David Niven in the big-time American historical epic "55 Days at Peking," directed by the legendary auteur Nicholas Ray. On the opposite end of the spectrum, he crested with the scrappy French New Wave, playing a cuckolded husband in Jean-Luc Godard's chic drama "Une Femme Mariée." Years later, he appeared in Luc Besson's glossy spy thriller "La Femme Nikita," a capstone of a movement that emerged from the rubble of the New Wave: the "Cinéma du look." Much of Leroy's output, however, came out of his adoptive home of Italy. He played the title role in "I, Leonardo," an award-winning TV miniseries, before appearing in Liliana Cavani's succès de scandale "The Night Porter," which famously linked fascism with sadomasochism. Ever eclectic, Leroy happily hops from highbrow to lowbrow, with appearances in films ranging from Richard Attenborough's prestige picture "In Love and War" to horror-meister Dario Argento's blood-soaked "Mother of Tears."

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