Capital: € 16 million
Age: 105
Born: July 31, 1914
Country of origin: France
Source of wealth: actor
Last updated: 2023

Short introduction

Louis de Funès was a French actor and comedian. With his roles in over 130 films, he became the most popular actor in his home country. He is also the epitome of successful humor in his work in many other European countries. He actually started out as a pianist, but then switched to acting. It was above all his grimace art that made him world famous, while at the same time creating the high art of comic tantrums. Active from 1945 until his death from a heart attack in 1983, he lived until the end in a castle near Nantes.

Early life of Louis de Funes

Since the families of his Spanish parents were against their marriage, they moved from Seville to Courbevoie, a suburb of Paris, in 1904. Her son Louis was born here in 1914. In his youth, the then inconspicuous Louis de Fués was enthusiastic about drawing and playing the piano. He soon got out of the university and worked as a jazz pianist, mainly in the famous Pigalle in Paris. Already here he realizes that his grimaces made the audience laugh easily and often. He then took acting classes for a year, which gave him some contacts that would help him later. At the time of the Germans’ occupation of Paris, he continued to work as a pianist. Too much self-doubt prevented him from relying on the career he had been aiming for as an actor. This was also due to his small height of only 1.64 meters and the fact that he had fewer and fewer hairs at a young age.

Career of Louis de Funès

Nevertheless, he finally decided, not least because of the support from his wife, to put on the acting card from 1945. First, he had to stay afloat with numerous minor supporting roles. When he made his film debut, he was 31 years old. In his first role, he was on screen for a total of 40 seconds. Nevertheless Louis de Funès persevered. However, it took 80 smaller roles before he finally got his first leading role in a film. Until then he had kept himself and his family (he had two children with his wife) afloat with dubbing and roles in the theater.

Eventually he made his breakthrough as an actor who was valued first in France, then in almost all of Europe. His multitude of grimaces earned him the nickname “the man with 40 grimaces per minute”. In 1956 he had his first smaller but well-known success as a butcher Jambier in “La Traversée de Paris”. In 1963 the transition to the phase as star of French film finally took place. “Pouic-Pouic” was the name of the film by Jean Girault, with whom he almost always worked, which made Louis de Funés a celebrated comedian. He finally achieved absolute fame with the great success of “The Gendarme von St. Tropez”, which was released in 1964.

Highlights of the career of Louis de Funès

That would be the most successful film by Louis de Funés. The comedian celebrated further great successes with “Louis, the miser”, “Breast or club” and “Louis and his alien cabbages”. Almost every film was a success with him after his breakthrough. From the mid-1960s, his works also became extremely popular outside of France. In Germany in particular, he remained extremely popular until his death and far beyond. This was partly due to the fact that his films were dubbed far from the original. His most demanding film is the 1973 “The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob”, which attracted over 7 million people to the cinema in France alone. His most successful role remained as a gendarme in St. Tropez throughout his life. While several episodes of this series had already appeared in the 1960s, he revived this character in the late 1970s – again with great success among the audience.

Famous quotes from Louis de Funès

“Laughter is the same for the soul as oxygen for the lungs.”

“Many have already become a father without his wife noticing it.”

“Darkening is a wonderful remedy for gossip. It works on parrots, you should also use it on humans. ”

Amazing facts about Louis de Funès

Because of his great popularity in France, de Funès acquired a bodyguard who protected him from overly intrusive admirers during public appearances.

His second wife, with whom he had been married for over 40 years, was a relative of Guy de Maupassant.

Little is known that he also read numerous classical works on vinyl.

As a private individual, he was seen as completely silent and reserved in contrast to his tantrums on stage and screen. It was his hobby to grow roses at his castle in the Loire.


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