BEVERLY HILLS—Louis Jourdan, the suave French actor who starred in the Academy Award-winning romantic comedy, “Gigi,” passed away at his Beverly Hills home on February 14. He was 93.
Born in Marseille, France, in 1921, Jourdan studied acting at the École Dramatique, a prominent French theater school.
During World War II, Jourdan reported for army service, but was told he was too young to fight the Germans. When France fell, Jourdan, was eventually ordered to make Nazi propaganda films. He courageously refused to do so explaining later, “They didn’t want pictures, they wanted propaganda. They permitted no freedom, and, where there is no freedom, there can be no art.”
Jourdan’s Hollywood career, which spanned more than a half-century, began with his role in the 1947 courtroom drama, “The Paradine Case,” which starred Gregory Peck. He also starred in notable films such as “Letter from an Unknown Woman” (1948), “The Best of Everything” (1959), “The V.I.P.s” (1963) and “Octopussy” (1983).
Jourdan married his childhood sweetheart, Berthe “Quique” Frederique in 1946. They had one child, Louis Henry Jourdan Jr., who committed suicide in 1981.
Jourdan has no immediate survivors. Quique Jourdan passed away last year.