Louis de Funés!!!!

Ok this is on my black and white series as do not like to put up external pictures other than mines. I like to tell you thus about one of the best actor/comedian of France. My hommage to Louis de Funés, an actor I have followed since my early infant years ! Hope you enjoy a bit of the 7th art phenomenon which I dwell on my blog once in a while. Again for those in the know ,no further title is needed, this is Louis de Funés!

This will be done in two parts, the first on himself and the second on his property. Hope you enjoy as I

Louis de Funès, his full name Louis de Funès de Galarza, is a French actor born July 31, 1914 in Courbevoie (92) and died January 27, 1983 in Nantes (44). He is buried in the town of Cellier (44) cemetery, his tomb facing the garden of his castle. A fervent Catholic, Louis de Funès was very practicing and had, according to his confessor, “a deep faith”.   His political ideas are close to those of Gaullism. With artists like Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon, he is one of the actors calling to vote for Valéry Giscard d’Estaing during the presidential election.

Louis de Funès comes from a Castilian (Spain) family on the side of his father, Carlos Luis de Funes de Galarza . His mother Leonor Soto Reguera comes from a middle-class family, her own father being a great lawyer from Madrid. The two lovers arrived in France from Spain in 1904 after Carlos kidnapped Leonor, whose parents initially opposed their union. Louis is their third child, the two eldest being Marie (Maria Teolinda Leonor Margarita), and Charles (Carlos Teolindo Javier ), a soldier in the 152nd infantry regiment, died for France cut down by a Nazi machine gun in 1940.

Louis de Funés having played in more than one hundred and forty films, he is one of the most famous comic actors of French cinema of the second half of the 20C and achieves the best results of French cinema, from the 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s. also the best television audiences. Very little rewarded, he received however an honorary César for his entire career in 1980.

In 1942, at the age of 28, he decided to become an actor, and enrolled in Cours Simon, passing his entrance exam with a performance of a scene from Molière’s Fourberies de Scapin. Even though he only made a short stint there, he ran into other apprentice actors in the course, such as Daniel Gélin, which allowed him to debut later in Marc-Gilbert Sauvajon’s play L’Amant de Paille. In 1945, again thanks to Daniel Gélin, whom de Funès nicknamed “Ma Chance” when he met him, he made his film debut, aged over thirty, in La Tentation de Barbizon, by Jean Stelli. In the small role of the porter of the cabaret Le Paradis, he delivers his first line on the screen when he sees a client who tries to pass through a closed door.  It was in the 1950s that he became known to the public belatedly with La Traversée de Paris (1956), his first leading roles and the triumph at the Théâtre d’Oscar. In the two decades that followed, you found him in a series of popular successes, among which: Pouic-Pouic (1963), Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez (1964) and its five suites, the Fantômas trilogy !!! (my favorites!!) (1964 to 1967), Le Corniaud (1965), Le Grand Restaurant and La Grande Vadrouille (1966), Oscar and Les Grandes Vacances (1967), Le Petit Baigneur (1968), Hibernatus (1969), Jo and La Folie des grandeurs (1971), Les Aventures by Rabbi Jacob (1973), L’Aile ou la Cuisse (1976), La Zizanie (1978) and La Soupe aux choux (1981). He also participated in the writing of some scripts for his films and co-directed L’Avare with Jean Girault in 1980.

In addition to France, Louis de Funès’ films were very popular when they were released in several European countries, such as Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany, but also the USSR and its area of influence in Eastern Europe and Cuba! (my first views of Fantômas films!) Despite his European success, Louis de Funès remained relatively unknown in the United States until 1973-1974 and his famous Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign film in 1975.

The Château de Clermont, built between 1643 and 1649, is a castle located in the town of Cellier, in the department 44 of the Loire-Atlantique, and region of Pays de la Loire. This castle is known to have been the property of the actor Louis de Funès, of which it was the last residence until the death of the actor in 1983. From 2014 to 2016, the orangerie of the castle accommodated the “museum of Louis” , dedicated to the actor. created by a local association to maintain the memory and work of Louis de Funès. Unable to acquire, for lack of subsidies, the walls of the premises it occupies, which their owner wishes to sell, the museum must close its doors on October 30, 2016.

The Château de Clermont occupies the site of the former monastery of Mont-Clair, destroyed by the Normans in 845. The current building was built by René Chenu, Lord of Lendormière, Clermont, Saint Philbert, from 1643 to 1649 , the day after Rocroy’s victory (May 19, 1643), where the one who would later be called the “Grand Condé” and who only bore the title of Duke d’Enghien, saved the throne of Louis XIV , as a child and for which he owed an immense favor. It reflects the enthusiasm of a time filled with glory. This family of great military administrators added to its name that of this land. Clermont remained in the descendants of the Chenu for two centuries.

During the French revolution, the Château de Clermont was sequestered and occupied for a time by Republican troops. After the revolution, Louis Marie Juchault des Jamonières, son of Rosalie de La Bourdonnaye, herself sister of Charles Bertrand de La Bourdonnaye, manages to regain possession. In 1814, he received the title of Baron of the Empire. The castle passes to the Nau de Maupassant family (1860-1963) without any known family link with the writer Guy de Maupassant.

The entire estate was finally put up for auction on January 25, 1967. Having become a great star, and then in full commercial success of La Grande Vadrouille, Louis de Funès decided to acquire it to return the castle of his childhood to his wife. who lived with him her years of hardship when she came from a bourgeois background. The actor sells his country house in Saint-Clair-sur-Epte and his summer apartment in Hyères . He leaves his wife to take care of the catering and instead devotes himself to the 25 hectares of parks and gardens surrounding as he was passionate about botany, the actor maintains a rose garden there.He prohibits hunting on his land and practices organic farming on his crops. From 1976, after his double heart attack, Louis de Funès also selles his Parisian apartment in Parc Monceau, to live only in the castle. He resides there until his death, which occurred at the Nantes hospital in 1983.

His sons , Patrick and Olivier de Funès, returned regularly to the Nantes region until the death of their mother in 2015, at the age of 101, followed by the closure, in 2016, of the Louis museum of which they were administrators.

The Château de Clermont had at this time had 30 rooms, 365 windows, large outbuildings and a 30 hectare park. His family could not maintain such a building, sold it in 1986 to the Association for the Development of Alternatives to Hospitalization (ADAH). However, the ADAH, faced with financial problems, must resolve to separate from Clermont, who was finally bought in 2005 by a real estate entrepreneur. This transforms the castle to fit out and resell 45 private apartments. At the end of summer 2009, the first residents move into the apartments created in the castle.

The city of Cellier on the Château de Clermont history: https://www.lecellier.fr/decouvrir-et-sortir/patrimoine-et-tourisme/patrimoine/demeures-historiques/chateau-de-clermont

Louis de Funés filmography on IMDB with trailers: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000086/

And I feel better given credit in my blog to this huge movie star very humble not much buzz as many do but with a huge talent ,just see his films and learn French along with it. I did way back in the late 60’s!!! Hope you appreciate a post like this on the great Louis de Funés!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

6 Comments to “Louis de Funés!!!!”

  1. I laughed so many times with his films. Sometimes I even still discover new jokes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Louis de Funes was a great comic actor, just saying his name and a smile comes naturally to those who have seen his films.

    Liked by 1 person

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