Monday, 16 February 2015

RIP Lizabeth Scott and Louis Jourdan

News of two celebrities passings today; Lizabeth Scott, the femme fatale of film noir, and Louis Jourdan, the urbane French film star have died aged ninety-two and ninety-three respectively.

The sensual, sultry and husky voiced Scott holds the record for starring in more film noir than any other performer. Of her 22 feature films, she was the leading lady in all but one and her career ran from the '40s through to the '70s. Her leading men included Humphrey Bogart, Victor Mature, Dick Powell, Charlton Heston, Robert Mitchum, Alan Ladd, Elvis Presley and, in her last role the 1972 Mike Hodges film Pulp which sent up her noir persona, Michael Caine. She withdrew from public life in the 1970s to concentrate on real estate and volunteer work with various charities. She passed away on Jan 31st of heart failure aged ninety-two.


The suave Louis Jourdan was, for much of Hollywood, the definition of the urbane European gentleman with a Gallic charm he would wryly dismiss as the industries 'French cliche'. Born in Marseilles, Jourdan's early career was halted by the outbreak of WWII. Refusing to appear in Nazi propaganda, he ran to ground and joined the French Resistance resuming his film career once the war was won. Leading ladies included Jennifer Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Joan Fountaine, Doris Day and Grace Kelly but, fearful of being typecast in the role of the charming lover, Jourdan managed to branch out into more sinister, villainous roles most notably in the BBC's 1970s TV adaptation of Dracula (still one of the best versions of the classic horror) and as the bad guy in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. He died on the 14th February aged ninety-three.


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