Jean-Louis Barrault  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jean-Louis Barrault (September 8, 1910January 22 1994 in Le Vésinet) was a French actor, director and mime artist, training that served him well when he portrayed the 19th-century mime Jean-Gaspard Deburau (Baptiste Debureau) in Marcel Carné's 1945 film Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise).

Jean-Louis Barrault studied with the mime artist Etienne Decroux and made his debut (at the age of 21) in the Théâtre de l'Atelier. After 1935, he worked with his own ensemble. He also acted in movies including Les beaux jours, Jenny, L'Or dans la Montagne and Sous les Yeux d'occident.

In 1940, he married the actress Madeleine Renaud. They founded many theatres together and toured extensively, including in South America.

He was the uncle of actress Marie-Christine Barrault and sometime sponsor of Peter Brook. He died from a heart attack in Paris at the age of 84.

Jean-Louis Barrault, Reflections on the Theatre - "In fact it is the simplest things that are the most tricky to do well. To read, for example. To be able to read exactly what is written without omitting anything that is written and at the same time without adding anything of one's own. To be able to capture the exact context of the words one is reading. To be able to read!"




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