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
Won a hair dressing competition in Marseilles
Performed for the first time on an amateur night in a local theater at age 17
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
Abandoned singing career and worked as a laborer in shipyard Chantiers de la Mediterranee
Resumed career after French capitulation; appeared in revue "Soir de folie" on tour in Lyons, Bordeaux
Went to Paris to perform; act included routine as a singing cowboy
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
Professional stage acting debut in operette, "Le Chevalier Bayard"
Made film debut in Rene Lucot's short, "Silence...antenne/Silence, on tourne"
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
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"
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
Presented his first one-man show in Paris at the Theatre de l'Etoile
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)
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
Made first US concert tour in one-man show; performed show on Broadway
Signed two-picture deal with 20th Century-Fox (for whom he made "Let's Make Love" 1960 and "Sanctuary" 1961)
His concert tour of the USSR was filmed by the Russians and released as "Yves Montand Chante"
Starred on the Pairs stage in "Des clowns par milliers/A Thousand Clowns"
Announced retirement as a singer
Subject of Chris Marker's documentary, "La solitude du chanteur de fond"
Subject of Jean-Christophe Averty's TV documentary "Montand de mon temps"
Attacked by Soviet newspaper, "Izveztia" as a "turncoat" after his political views had shifted from left-wing to center
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
Toured US with cabaret performance; was first popular entertainer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in NY
Wrote, produced and starred in "Yves Montand a la une" on French TV
Was mentioned as a possible French Presidential candidate
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