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|Also Known As:||Maurice Auguste Chevalier||Died:||January 1, 1972|
|Born:||September 12, 1888||Cause of Death:||heart attack following surgery|
|Birth Place:||Paris, FR||Profession:||Cast ... actor singer acrobat entertainer factory worker apprentice engraver|
The epitome of the worldly French song-and-dance man, Maurice Chevalier was one of the 20th century's most beloved entertainers, delighting audiences the world over in a five-decade career that encompassed vaudeville, light opera, motion pictures and concerts. Perennially decked out in tuxedo tails and a rakish straw boater, Chevalier crooned love songs in a honeyed Gallic accent that endeared him to theatergoers in the teens and early 1920s before entering silent features. Hollywood beckoned in the early 1930s, and he enjoyed a string of musical hits, including "Love Me Tonight" (1932) before returning to France prior to World War II. Allegations of collaborations with the Nazis dogged his career during the 1940s, but he returned more popular than ever in the late 1950s, thanks to "Gigi" (1958), which earned him a special Oscar. Chevalier would go on to essay courtly grandfathers until his retirement in 1968. His death in 1972 marked the end of a charmed life, dedicated to spreading the gospel of love and happiness through a song, a smile and a tip of a hat.
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