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      Maurice Chevalier

      • 83
      • September 12, 1888 in Paris, France
      • January 1, 1972

      Maurice Chevalier's first working job was as an acrobat, until a serious accident ended that career. He turned his talents to singing and acting, and made several short films in France. During World War I he enlisted in the French army. He was wounded in battle, captured and placed in a POW camp by the Germans. During his captivity he learned English from fellow prisoners. After the war he returned to the film business, and when "talkies" came into existence, Chevalier traveled to the US to break into Hollywood. In 1929 he was paired with operatic singer/actress Jeanette MacDonald to make The Love Parade (1929). Although Chevalier was attracted to the beautiful MacDonald and made several passes at her, she rejected him firmly, as she had designs on actor Gene Raymond, who she eventually married). He did not take rejection lightly, being a somewhat vain man who considered himself quite a catch, and derided MacDonald as a "prude". She, in turn, called him "the quickest derrière pincher in Hollywood". They made three more pictures together, the most successful being Love Me Tonight (1932). In the late 1930s he returned to Europe, making several films in France and England. World War II interrupted his career and he was dogged by accusations of collaboration with the Nazi authorities occupying France, but he was later vindicated. In the 1950s he returned to Hollywood, older and gray-headed. He made Gigi (1958), from which he took his signature songs, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and "I Remember it Well". He also received a special Oscar that year. In the 1960s he made ke a few more films, and in 1970 he sang the title song for Walt Disney's The AristoCats (1970). This marked his last contribution to the film industry. Date of Death 1 January 1972, Paris, France (cardiac arrest after surgery for a kidney problem)

      Actor

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