Orson Welles once called beloved, down-to-earth French character star Raimu (born Jules Auguste Cesar Muraire) "the greatest actor who ever lived." It is hard to argue the compliment of one genius to another. Raimu was born in Toulon, France on December 17, 1883 of very humble means. He began his career at age 16 as a music hall extra by imitating famous French comic idols. Using the stage name of Raimut (he later dropped the "t"), he gained a following in dance halls, cafe concerts and bars as a comic entertainer, then cemented his reputation on the Parisian comedy stages. Around this time he also appeared in minor roles in a couple French silent films but nothing much came of them. His intentions as a serious actor were officially recognized in the 1929 stage production of Marcel Pagnol's play "Marius," the story of a wanderlust sailor, his wife Fanny, son Cesario, and father Cesar. Raimu transferred the role of Cesar brilliantly to film in 1931 and the rest is history. Closely associated with iron-willed, working class roles, Raimu swayed effectively from humor to great pathos in characters that reminded one in looks and flavor of a grubby, weary-looking Honore de Balzac. Immortalized in Pagnol's film trilogy which included Marius (1931), Fanny (1932) and César (1936), the films have been arguably celebrated as the greatest series ever put together. Subsequently Raimu won the National Board of Review awards for his work in Un carnet de bal (1937) and The Baker's Wife (1938). Along the way he worked with such legendary directors as Marc Allegret, Henri Decoin, Julien Duvivier, Pierre Colombier and Pierre Billon. Shortly after making The Eternal Road (1946) with Billon, Raimu suffered a heart attack and died during what was initially considered a benign operation. The outpouring of grief felt by his native country was monumental. He was finally laid to rest in a cemetary in the town where he was born.
|Movie Name||Release Date|
|Έκλεψαν τη γυναίκα μου – La femme du boulanger (1938)||February 26, 1940|