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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Louis Jouvet
Louis Jouvet in The School for Wives in 1950
Jules Eugène Louis Jouvet

24 December 1887
Crozon, France
Died16 August 1951 (aged 63)
Paris, France
Occupation(s)Actor, director, theatre manager
SpouseElse Collin (1886–1967)
PartnerMadeleine Ozeray (?–1943)

Jules Eugène Louis Jouvet (24 December 1887 – 16 August 1951) was a French actor, theatre director and filmmaker.

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Early life

Jouvet was born in Crozon. He had a stutter as a young man and originally trained as a pharmacist.[1] He received an advanced degree in pharmacy in 1913, though he never actually practiced, instead pursuing a career in theatre.[2]:91


Jouvet was 'refused three times by the Conservatoire' in Paris before being accepted to Jacques Copeau's Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier as a stage manager in 1913.[3]:345 Copeau's training included a varied and demanding schedule, regular exercise for agility and stamina, and pressing his cast and crew to invent theatrical effects in a bare-bones space. It was there Jouvet developed his considerable stagecraft skills, particularly makeup and lighting (he developed a kind of accent light named the jouvet). These years included a successful tour to the United States.[citation needed]

While influential, Copeau's theater was never lucrative and Jouvet left in October 1922 for the Comédie des Champs-Élysées (the small stage of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées). He was made director of the theatre in 1924.[1] In December 1923 he staged his single most successful production, the satire Dr. Knock, written by Jules Romains.[2]:92 His characterization of the manipulative crank doctor was informed by his own experience in pharmacy school.[citation needed] It became his signature and his standby; he produced it 'almost every year until the end of his life'.[4] Jouvet remained at the Comédie until 1934, when he moved to the Théâtre de l'Athénée due to the high overhead of running a theatre troupe at the Comédie.[2]:92 He served as director of the Théâtre from 1934 through his death in 1951.[2]:92

In 1927, he formed Le Cartel des Quatre [The Cartel of Four] with Charles Dullin, Gaston Baty (1885–1952), and Georges Pitoëff.[5]:80 The Cartel was 'an artistic and economic alliance in opposition to academic and commercial theatre',[5]:178 and the directors did not share a specific 'aesthetic movement'.[5]:80

In 1928 he began an ongoing collaboration with playwright Jean Giraudoux, beginning with a radical streamlining of Giraudoux's Siegfried et le Limousin (1922). Their work together included the first staging of The Madwoman of Chaillot in 1945.[citation needed]

Jouvet starred in some 34 films, including two recordings of Dr. Knock, once in 1933 and again in 1951. He was professor at the French National Academy of Dramatic Arts.[citation needed]


He died 16 August 1951 in his dressing room at the Théâtre de l'Athénée after having a heart attack.[6] Jouvet is buried in the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris.[citation needed] The Athénée theatre now bears his name.[2]:92

Théâtre de l'Athénée Louis-Jouvet, Paris, named for Jouvet


French-Argentine actor Maurice Jouvet (1923–1999) was his nephew.

British actor Peter Wyngarde has claimed Jouvet as his maternal uncle,[7] but Jouvet's immediate family tree does not confirm this.


Pixar paid homage to Jouvet by basing the appearance of the character Anton Ego in Ratatouille (2007) on him.[citation needed]


Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b "Louis Jouvet | French actor and director". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Carey, John (January 1974). "The Artistic Pragmatism of Louis Jouvet". Performing Arts Review. 5 (1–2): 91–112. doi:10.1080/00315249.1974.9943380. ISSN 0031-5249.
  3. ^ Hahn, Paul. "Louis Jouvet 1891-1951". In Educational Theatre Journal 3 (4), 1 December 1951.
  4. ^ Louis Jouvet, man of the theatre, Bettina Liebowitz Knapp
  5. ^ a b c Barba, Eugenio; Savarese, Nicola (11 February 2019). The Five Continents of Theatre: Facts and Legends about the Material Culture of the Actor. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-39293-9.
  6. ^ Louis Jouvet at in French
  7. ^ "Peter Wyngarde – Most Wanted TV Personality". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. 19 February 1970 – via

External links

This page was last edited on 16 November 2023, at 02:46
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