skip navigation
Yves Montand

Yves Montand

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Jean De Florette / Manon Of The Spring... This French double feature is a study of greed, loyalty and revenge. In "Jean De... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Grand Prix: Special Edition... All the glamour andigreatness of the world's most exciting drama of speed and... more info $20.98was $20.98 Buy Now

Tout Va Bien: The Criterion Collection... Consumerism, the institutionalized left and marriage are the targets in this... more info $20.99was $29.95 Buy Now

The Wages Of Fear: The Criterion Collection... This chilling 1950s suspense thriller, based on the novel by Georges Arnaud,... more info $26.99was $39.95 Buy Now

Z: The Criterion Collection... A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras's Z... more info $26.99was $39.95 Buy Now

The Law (La Loi) DVD Fraught with censorship problems and released in the U.S. as a sexploitation... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Ivo Livi Died: November 9, 1991
Born: October 13, 1921 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Italy Profession: actor, singer, delivery person, factory worker, bartender, busboy, apprentice hairdresser

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An exceedingly charming and debonair leading man who became a symbol of the Gallic gentleman to moviegoers worldwide, Yves Montand was also a very famous singer who received his start performing in Paris nightclubs during World War II. After establishing himself in that profession, Montand also made his mark in the movies, first in France and later in Hollywood opposite some of the top leading ladies of the time, including, most famously, off-screen lover Marilyn Monroe. Montand's gifts as a singer were widely celebrated, leading to many popular recordings and highly successful performances in various countries and at The New York Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway. Throughout his motion picture career, Montand often portrayed rugged, world-weary men, but off set, he was famous for his enthusiasm, dedication and imagination. Just as contradictory was his appeal, which straddled the entire spectrum of French society even though he was embraced as a symbol of the proletariat and was a vociferous supporter of leftist politics. While likely remembered best today for his vocal gifts and work in lighter motion pictures like "Let's Make Love" (1960), when properly challenged by directors on the level of...

An exceedingly charming and debonair leading man who became a symbol of the Gallic gentleman to moviegoers worldwide, Yves Montand was also a very famous singer who received his start performing in Paris nightclubs during World War II. After establishing himself in that profession, Montand also made his mark in the movies, first in France and later in Hollywood opposite some of the top leading ladies of the time, including, most famously, off-screen lover Marilyn Monroe. Montand's gifts as a singer were widely celebrated, leading to many popular recordings and highly successful performances in various countries and at The New York Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway. Throughout his motion picture career, Montand often portrayed rugged, world-weary men, but off set, he was famous for his enthusiasm, dedication and imagination. Just as contradictory was his appeal, which straddled the entire spectrum of French society even though he was embraced as a symbol of the proletariat and was a vociferous supporter of leftist politics. While likely remembered best today for his vocal gifts and work in lighter motion pictures like "Let's Make Love" (1960), when properly challenged by directors on the level of Henri-Georges Clouzot and Costa-Gavras, Montand proved quite capable of giving persuasive dramatic performances and that talent solidified his legacy as one of the most important European stars of that era.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Cat Without a Grin, A (2002) Narration
2.
 Montand (1994) Narration
4.
 Les Routes du Sud (1993) Jean Larrea
6.
 IP5 (1992) Leon Marcel
7.
 Netchaiev est de Retour (1991) Pierre Marroux
8.
 Choice Of Arms (1990) Noel
9.
 Trois places pour le 26 (1988) Himself
10.
 Cesar et Rosalie (1988) Cesar
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1923:
Left Italy with family two years before the rise of Fascism as Mussolini was rising to power; settled in Marseilles
:
From age 11 worked as delivery boy, apprentice hairdresser in sister's, business, truck loader at a metal factory, and waiter at a dockside bar
1937:
Won a hair dressing competition in Marseilles
1938:
Performed for the first time on an amateur night in a local theater at age 17
1938:
Changed name to Yves Montand; made professional debut at the Alcazar Music Hall in Marseilles singing songs of Chevalier, Trenet and imitating Donald Duck music-hall singer in Marseilles, Bordeaux and Toulouse
1939:
Abandoned singing career and worked as a laborer in shipyard Chantiers de la Mediterranee
1940:
Resumed career after French capitulation; appeared in revue "Soir de folie" on tour in Lyons, Bordeaux
1943:
Went to Paris to perform; act included routine as a singing cowboy
1944:
Appeared in Paris at the ABC Music Hall; also performed at the Moulin Rouge where he was discovered by Edith Piaf, became her lover and protege; abandoned cowboy act and performed new material devised or bought by composers by Piaf to showcase him
1946:
Professional stage acting debut in operette, "Le Chevalier Bayard"
1945:
Made film debut in Rene Lucot's short, "Silence...antenne/Silence, on tourne"
1946:
Feature film debut, "Etoie Sans Lumierie/Star Without Light"; Piaf got him the role of the boyfriend she leaves behind when she becomes a star
1946:
Starred in Marcel Carne's "Les Portes de la Nuit/Gates f the Night" in which he introduced signature song, "Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves"
1947:
Signed contract with Warner Bros.; When he translated the contract from English and realized that he would become the property of the studio, he sued for breach of contract and one franc damages; Warners countersued and the matter was settled out of court
1951:
Presented his first one-man show in Paris at the Theatre de l'Etoile
1954:
Starred on Paris stage for one year with Simone Signoret in Arthur Miller's "Sorcieres de Salem/The Crucible" (they reprised their performances in the 1956 film version)
1956:
With Simone Signoret made a highly-publicized and high-criticized tour of the Soviet Union and east bloc countries after the Soviet invasion of Hungary
1959:
Made first US concert tour in one-man show; performed show on Broadway
1959:
Signed two-picture deal with 20th Century-Fox (for whom he made "Let's Make Love" 1960 and "Sanctuary" 1961)
1960:
His concert tour of the USSR was filmed by the Russians and released as "Yves Montand Chante"
1962:
Starred on the Pairs stage in "Des clowns par milliers/A Thousand Clowns"
1967:
Announced retirement as a singer
1974:
Subject of Chris Marker's documentary, "La solitude du chanteur de fond"
1974:
Subject of Jean-Christophe Averty's TV documentary "Montand de mon temps"
1979:
Attacked by Soviet newspaper, "Izveztia" as a "turncoat" after his political views had shifted from left-wing to center
1980:
Resumed singing career; had hit album, "Montand d'hier et d'aujourd 'hui'"; performed in three-month engagement at the Olympia Theatre in Paris and later toured with show
1982:
Toured US with cabaret performance; was first popular entertainer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in NY
1986:
Wrote, produced and starred in "Yves Montand a la une" on French TV
1988:
Was mentioned as a possible French Presidential candidate
1991:
Died of a heart attack in a hospital in Senlis (a suburb of Paris) after suffering chest pains on the set of the Jean-Jacques Beineix film he was shooting
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"His popularity survived his travels through passion and politics because his ability to charm the French--and a good many foreigners--never faltered. In recent years, his hair thinning and his face wrinkled, he exuded the air of a favorite uncle who would always be around."--Alan Riding ("New York Times" obituary, November 10, 1991)

"He is probably the most successful French actor of his generation. No continental actor since Boyer has played opposite so many big Hollywood stars--Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley MacLaine and Barbra Streisand."--David Shipman ("The Great Stars: The International Years" 1972)

"His face seemed made for the glib revelation of Lelouch's hurried emotional journalism [in "Vivre pour Vivre" 1967], and the unprincipled mixture of cheap romantic melodrama and supposed commitment to the world's travails seemed to fit Montand's professional shurg to the inch. Although an actor who relies on mature appeal, he seems to me always a ltitle shifty. His face in repose is sulky and calculating, and the smile that flits on to it when he knows he is being observed might be pulled open by strings."--David Thomson ("The Biographical Dictionary of Film" 1975).

Montand was buried November 13, 1991 next to Simone Signoret at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Edith Piaf is also buried there.

He served as president of Cannes Film Festival (1987)

He was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center (1988)

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Edith Piaf. Singer. Discovered Montand in 1944; together c. 1944-46.
wife:
Simone Signoret. Actor. Married 1951 until her death in 1985; met while touring in 1949; previously married to director Yves Allegret.
companion:
Marilyn Monroe. Actor. Had brief affair while filming "Let's Make Love" (1960).
companion:
Anne Florange Drossart. Filed a paternity suit against Montand in 1990 claiming that he fathered her daughter Aurora (born c. 1975) during an affair they had beginning in 1972 when they were both in the film "Le Hasard et la Violence"; Montand ordered by Paris court to take a blood test to determine child's paternity; appeals court ruled that Montand's body should be exhumed for DNA testing in 1997.
companion:
Carole Amiel. Secretary. Born c. 1960; mother of Montand's son Valentin; became Montand's secretary in 1982.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Giovanni Livi. Broommaker. Jewish-Italian peasant; socialist.
mother:
Josephine Livi.
sister:
Lydia Livi. Hairdresser. Montand worked in her beauty shop before beginning his music-hall career at age 17.
son:
Valentin Gioanni Jacques Montand. Born December 31, 1988 when Montand was 67.
step-daughter:
Catherine Allegret. Born c. 1946; daughter of Simone Signoret and director Yves Allegret.
nephew:
Jean-Louis Livi. Producer.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Du soleil plein la tete"
"You See, I Have Not Forgotten"

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute