French actor Louis Jourdan died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday, TMZ reports. He was 93 years old.
According to BBC News, Jourdan’s official biographer Olivier Minne confirmed his death.
Jourdan enjoyed a successful acting career, which included roles in the 1958 film Gigi and 1983 Bond film Octopussy, but we have some other facts about the actor that you may not have known.
1. He sang Gigi‘s title tune
Gigi was one of the most successful films of the ’50s and was nominated for nine Oscars. Aside from starring as playboy Gaston Lachaille in the film, Jourdan also sang the film’s title tune, and it won the Oscar for Best Song.
2. He more often than not played the role of a gentleman
Jourdan was an incredibly handsome man, and for this reason he was often typecast in romantic roles, much to his dismay.
“My basic disagreement with producers was that I didn’t want to be perpetually cooing in a lady’s ear,” Jourdan said in a 1960 interview with Coronet magazine. “There is not much aesthetic satisfaction in it.”
3. He grew up in Cannes, France
Jourdan grew up in Cannes, France, and was the son of an hotelier. He was fortunate enough to later attend the prestigious Ecole Dramatique in Paris to study acting.
4. He took his mother’s last name
According to the Daily Mail, Jourdan grew up as Louis Gendre. However, when he started acting, he decided to use his mother’s last name, Jourdan.
5. His early career was interrupted by World War II
World War II interrupted Jourdan’s career in France after the Nazis’ occupation. He was ordered to make Nazi propaganda films but refused, escaping to the south of France where he joined the French resistance.
6. He had only one child
Jourdan had only one child, a son, Louis Henry Jourdan, whom he shared with his late wife, Berthe Frederique Jourdan. Louis Henry sadly died of a drug overdose at age 30 in 1981.
7. He starred opposite some of the most beautiful leading ladies
Jourdan starred opposite many talented and beautiful leading ladies, among them was Grace Kelly, in The Swan. He also played opposite Joan Fontaine in Letter from an Unknown Woman and Decameron Nights, Brigitte Bardot in the 1956 film The Bride Is Much Too Beautiful and Jennifer Jones in the 1949 film Madame Bovary.
Jourdan was a talented actor and will be missed by many. Our thoughts go out to Jourdan’s family and friends during this sad time.