Philippe Noiret, R.I.P.

15282__noiret_l Philippe Noiret, who died at 76 on Thursday after a battle with cancer, was one of the world’s great character actors. Americans knew his hangdog face from his performance as the gruff, old projectionist in 1989’s Cinema Paradiso (pictured, above, with Salvatore Cascio) and from his turn as Chilean poet-turned-romance guru Pablo Neruda in Il Postino/The Postman. Of course, there were more than 100 other films, including his breakthrough role as the sad-clown uncle in Louis Malle’s 1960 proto-New Wave pic Zazie dans le m├ętro (see clips of Noiret’s performance here), and the several movies he made for director Bertrand Tavernier, notably, his majestic performance as an officer trying to catalogue France’s World War I dead in 1989’s Life and Nothing But.

There are some fine remembrances of Noiret here and here. Particularly moving is this one from film critic Joe Leydon, who spent a warm and apparently tipsy afternoon with the veteran performer at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. "What is acting for the movies?" the stage trained Noiret asked Leydon. "I’ve never really understood." But judging by his effortlessly natural screen work, he did understand, deep into his bones.

addCredit(“Cinema Paradiso: Photofest”)

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Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Elise

    Thanks for remembering one of the finest French actors ever. I loved him in “Le vieux fusil” and of course all the Bertrand Tavernier movies. And he probably had the most recognizable voice in the entire French cinema.

  • Cristiane

    He was probably my favorite actor ever, especially in Life and Nothing But. A great, great actor. He could do anything onscreen – comic or tragic. Incredibly moving, and utterly charming.

  • Diana

    Cinema Paradiso is the only film from my college italian film class (which I took 7 years ago)that I remember and love to this day. Noiret’s portrayal of Alfredo broke my heart and made me laugh at the same time. An amazing actor…

  • Q-A

    It’s so nice to read something about him in popwatch. I know you all know the highbro/artsy flicks, but he also was a great comedian.
    The “Ripoux” series is a riot, and everyone should see “la fille de d’Artagnan”, if not for his great turn as the aged musketeer, but for Sophie Marceau’s wonderful breasts.

  • Ed

    ?

  • Kayla

    !Philippe, you will be forever one of my unforgettable actors. Godspeed.

  • EP Sato

    Oh my lord what is happening? Jack Palance, Ed Bradley and a ton of other great stars seem to have all passed away this year. 2006 has been rough for fans of movies, music and pop culture in general, as a lot of greats seem to be passing.
    Not to make light of a sad day, but can we maybe start freezing celebs or putting their heads in jars ala Futurama already? I don’t want to lose any more of these great people who gave us all such wonderful memories. Cinema Paradiso was love of film explained on film, with warm characters, especially Phillippe’s.
    Que descanse en paz.

  • James

    Gear up for grub with a tripleheader of pigskin, including a meeting of brothers in Dallas. Everybody knows it’s been a rough year for her, but find out who else had issues

  • Jessica

    The comic visited the land for the first time in decades to promote his anRrpWTYnkmcou new animated movie about bees, and he was treated like royalty literally

  • James

    Taylor has a home in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay that he bought two years ago. The 24-year-old player is in HjJrFiZwfKpezK his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003

  • Jessica

    Taylor has a home in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay that he bought two years ago. The 24-year-old player is in HjJrFiZwfKpezK his fourth season with the Redskins after playing at the University of Miami, where he was an All-American in 2003

  • Jennifer

    porridge is almost as bad as rotten potatoes famine itself soon hASeQuoRRK No I cannot believe that I hold another creed which no one ever

  • Betty

    when laid down I glanced at the long rows of beds, each of which was TnozkYFzSh sort of dream. Sometimes I think I am in Northumberland, and that

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