Award-winning French Actor Michel Bouquet has died at the age of 96.

French actor Michel Bouquet, whose ability to imply passion and turmoil under a bland, middle-class exterior made him a favorite of New Wave directors, has died. He was 96 years old.

The Élysée Palace, the office of the French president, announced the death of Mr Bouquet on Wednesday. This newsletter gave no cause of death.

One of France’s greatest theater actors, Mr. Bouquet found a special place in the late 1960s and 70s playing ordinary Frenchmen playing ordinary French with their complex inner lives and deep reserves of emotion; face.

He portrayed the fatally jealous husband in Claude Chabrol’s “Unfaithful Wife” (1969) and the director’s double-life commercial executive in “Just Before Nightfall” (1971). He was also one of Jeanne Moreau’s unfortunate victims in François Truffaut’s “The Bride in Black” (1968).

An actor with considerable rangeMr. Bouquet was equally at home in comedy and drama, and in roles both sympathetic and unsympathetic as the nasty detective Comolli in Mr. Truffaut’s 1969 film “The Mississippi Mermaid.”

Mr. Bouquet has appeared in more than 100 films and won a new generation of fans with his performance as the former incarnation of the title character in 1991. “Hero Toto.” Césars, two of the Oscar’s best performers, the French equivalent, arrived in their 70s. The first was for her modestly menacing performance in “How I Killed My Father” (2001), as a clumsy parent who sows emotional chaos when she re-enters her sons’ lives.

“He is a very original actor,” said Anne Fontaine, director of “How I Killed My Father” for Mr. Bouquet. in an interview Noting that he wrote it with The New York Times in 2002 with the role in mind. “Even though he has a very relaxed and smiling air, there is something about his acting that is confusing, destabilizing, and always weird.” He sometimes described himself as “a quiet anarchist”.

Mr. Bouquet won a second César for his power tour as François Mitterrand, the ailing French president in “The Last Mitterrand” (2005).

The Daily Telegraph of London wrote of the performance: “Charming, arrogant, boyish and sarcastic, Bouquet offers a master class in understated character acting and delivers an indelible interpretation of a complex, exasperating man.”

Michel Francois Pierre Bouquet was born on November 6, 1925, in Paris, to Georges and Marie (Monot) Bouquet. His mother was a miller. His father was an officer in the French Army who was taken prisoner by the Nazis shortly after the invasion of France. To support the family, Michel worked as an apprentice to a pastry baker and as a bank teller.

At the encouragement of actor Maurice Escande, she began studying at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art in Paris and got her first major role in Jean Anouilh’s “Roméo et Jeannette” after taking part in the production of Albert Camus’ “Caligula”.

Molière, in particular, went on to build a distinguished theatrical career, known for his work in plays by Samuel Beckett. Harold Pinter Eugène Ionesco and Thomas Bernhard.

“It’s a very lonely job, just like painting,” he told the French newspaper Sud Ouest in 2011. “People do it in public, but the essence is hidden.”

He made his film debut in 1947 as an assassin in “Criminal Brigade” and in St. He acted as a substitute in Vincent de Paul’s biography “Monsieur Vincent”. Two years later, he gave a hint of things to come in “Pattes Blanches,” based on Mr Anouilh’s play where the local innkeeper plays a battered aristocrat who is hopelessly in love with his young girlfriend.

He later gave the voice of the narrator in Alain Resnais’ landmark Holocaust documentary Night and Fog (1956).

In 1965, the secret agent movie “Tiger Smells Like Dynamite” made the first of half a dozen films with Mr. Chabrol, followed by performances of “Unfaithful Wife” and “Just Before the Night”. ”

Mr. Bouquet’s talents were perfectly suited to Mr. Chabrol’s chilling explorations of love, violence and moral ambiguity. As the jealous husband Charles Desvallées in “The Unfaithful Wife,” he became enraged, plotted, suffered, and eventually led his wife’s lover astray. Stephane Audran.

Mr. Bouquet’s marriage to actress Ariane Borg ended in divorce. He died in 2007. According to the Élysée news outlet, in 1970 he married the surviving Juliette Carré. Ms. Carré, also an actress, appeared frequently on stage with Mr. Bouquet.

Mr. Bouquet (unrelated to actress Carole Bouquet) continued to act well in his later years, starring in Molière’s “Hypochondriac” in 2008 and in “La Petite Chambre” (released as “The”) in 2010. Little Bedroom” in US cinemas in 2014), “The Origin of Violence” was released in 2016. In 2014, he was nominated for the best actor César for his performance as the lead character. “Renoir

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