Michel Simon

Actor

A large, unattractive, crude-looking character star of French films and plays, he moved to Paris at age sixteen, eventually performing as a clown-acrobat-dancer in music halls. He made his legitimate stage debut in 1918. In the '20s he appeared in a handful of films, but his screen career did not begin in earnest until the sound era; from 1930 he appeared in numerous films, specializing in portrayals of earthy, common people. He remained busy until the '50s, when his career declined. In 1957 he was poisoned by a makeup dye; his central nervous system was partly disabled, and parts of his body and face were paralyzed. After recuperating he returned to the screen in several notable roles, lastly in 1975.

Filmography