Jacques Sernas


7/30/1925 (96 years old)

As a child, Lithuanian-born Jacques Sernas was brought to Paris, where he received his formal education. Active in the French Resistance during the war, Sernas was captured by the Nazis, then endured a harrowing year as an inmate at Buchenwald. After the war, Sernas pursued a career as a journalist (after dropping plans to enter medicine), but was sidetracked into film acting. He made his first film, Miroir, in 1946, and quickly rose to leading-man status. Efforts in the mid-'50s to convert him into an assembly line Hollywood movie star resulted in such lukewarm efforts as Helen of Troy (1955) and Jump into Hell (1956). He returned to Europe, where his mastery of four languages enabled him to thrive as a much in-demand character actor. His career peaked with his performance as a has-been film idol in La Dolce Vita (1961). Jacques Sernas has spent the last three decades living and working in Rome.