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Death of Jacques Sereys, one of the greats of the Comédie-Française

Death of Jacques Sereys, one of the greats of the Comédie-Française

published on Monday, January 02, 2023 at 1:44 p.m.

Actor Jacques Sereys, honorary member of the Comédie-Française who played around fifty roles on stage and also in several films, died at the age of 94.

The “house of Molière” expressed its “tremendous sadness” Monday after the announcement of the death, made Sunday evening by the Elysée.

“We are losing a great figure in our House, one of the last of this exceptional generation who has made our audience dream so much and done so much for the reputation of our theater”, said Eric Ruf, general administrator of the French, in a press release.

The comrades of Jacques Sereys in the troop were indeed called Jacques Charon, Robert Hirsch, Jean Piat or Françoise Seigner.

“He was an esteemed figure in French theater and a familiar face in our popular cinema”, underlined the presidency in a press release on Sunday evening, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron welcoming “a man who had dedicated his life to the theater”.

“Jacques Sereys served texts which, by their melancholy or their panache, their verve or their subtlety, said everything about a certain French spirit”, continued the Elysée.

Born June 2, 1928 in Saint-Maurice (Val-de-Marne), raised in Marseille by his mother, an embroiderer – he never knew his father – he started as an office boy at Crédit Lyonnais before landing in Paris in 1947, driven by his desire to become an actor.

“At nineteen, he read his classics, lost his accent and passed the Conservatory. From then on, he worked, read, learned”, according to the Comédie-Française which he joined in 1955.

“With a pronounced taste for intermittency”, notes the House of Molière since he left the venerable institution in 1965 to finally join it in 1978 until 1997. He played a varied repertoire (Marivaux, Genet, Corneille, Goldoni or even Feydeau) and brought Giraudoux into the Comédie-Française.

In 2006, he won the Molière for best actor for his only-on-stage “On the side of Proust”, as well as the Brigadier of Honor award in 2015 for his entire career.

“With his silhouette of impeccable elegance, his diction worked like lace and a sparkling gaze, Jacques Sereys lit up the boards with his talent for 70 years”, reacted the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak, calling him a “sublime interpreter of our emotions”.

He made incursions into the cinema, notably with his role as head of the secret services opposite Yves Montand in “I… comme Icare” by Henri Verneuil (1979) and roles in “Le Feu foulet” and “Le Souffle in the heart” by Louis Malle.

Jacques Sereys had married Philippine de Rothschild, also an actress at the French who played under the name of Philippine Pascale, and with whom he had two children, Philippe and Camille.

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