Maurice Chevalier

Maurice Chevalier
Associated Press

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Maurice Chevalier
Film: West side of the 1700 block of Vine Street
Actor | Singer
Born Sept. 12, 1888 in Paris, France
Died Jan. 1, 1972 of heart attack in Paris, France

Maurice Chevalier was a debonair French showman with twinkling eyes and a jovial smile.

A star of more than half a century and a performer for 68 years, Chevalier's career carried him to success in the music halls of Paris, in revues in London and Paris, in Hollywood in the 1930s, again in America after World War II, and finally on television.

His straw hat, ready smile, pouting lower lip, jaunty walk and a throaty voice were a hit with four generations. His leading ladies ranged from legendary music hall star Mistinguett, first Chevalier's idol and then his lover, to Audrey Hepburn.

More than anything else, he was an international symbol of his native land.

Born in 1888, Chevalier was 84 when he died, mourned "almost on the scale of De Gaulle or Jean-Paul Sartre" by a grieving nation. He had come to epitomize France not only to his countrymen but to the world. In the course of a career that spanned three-quarters of the 20th century, the rakish straw boater, the winning, impish smile and the ebullient air had become as instantly recognizable and impervious to time as the Eiffel Tower.

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1929 Best Actor The Big Pond Nomination
    1929 Best Actor The Love Parade Nomination
    1958 Honorary Award Win

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