Charles Boyer (1899 - 1978)

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Charles Boyer
1899 - 1978
August 28, 1899
Figeac, France
August 26, 1978
Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona US
Charles Boyer was born on August 28, 1899 in Figeac, France. He died on August 26, 1978 in Phoenix, Arizona US at 78 years of age.
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Updated: November 5, 2019
Charles Boyer, the suave, French-born actor who courted a bevy of leading ladies in films during the 1930s and 1940s and became one of Warner Bros.' top stars, died Saturday at a local hospital. His death came just two days after the death of his wife of 44 years, Pat. Boyer, who would have turned 79 on Monday, had been found unconscious at his home and was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital by paramedics. He died a short time later, a spokesman said. Dr. Thomas Jarvis, Maricopa County coroner, said he would conduct an autopsy today. A hospital spokesman said a heart attack was suspected. Boyer became the top-salaried star at Warner Bros. in 1945. During the 1930s and 1940s, he epitomized the Continental gallant-suave, impeccable of manner and dress. He played the polished lover to many of the movies' leading ladies, yet had the strength and authority to be convincing also as a man of action. Unlike many a romantic star, he moved easily into character parts with middle age. In one film, he portrayed the father of Leslie Caron. He had no vanity about his appearance and willingly played roles in which he looked older than he was, even at times appearing without his toupee if the character called for it. Perhaps he is best remembered for his role as the thief Pepe le Moko in "Algiers." Among his later films were "Is Paris Burning?," "How to Steal a Million," "Casino Royale" and "Barefoot in the Park." Boyer, who was born in Figeac, France, found himself at the age of 7, when he began getting major parts in school plays. The son of a farm machinery dealer, Boyer used his father's granary as a theater, and, at age 12, learned passages of long plays and rehearsed with self-written scripts. After studying at the Sorbonne and the Paris Conservatory, Boyer made his stage debut in Paris' Theatre Antoine in "La Bataille" and soon became a leading stage star. He made his film debut in 1920. Although French producers did not consider him photogenic, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer brought him to Hollywood to do French versions of successful English-language films when dubbing was unknown. Not until 1931 did he make his first major picture with an English-speaking role, "The Man From Yesterday," with Claudette Colbert. He also signed to do "The Red-Headed Woman" with Jean Harlow, but thought his imperfect English would hamper him, so he returned to France to polish it. He was brought back to Hollywood in 1934 and kept a date with success and the woman who later became his wife, British actress Pat Paterson. He met her on a studio lot and they were married that year. Leading ladies he courted in films as he rose to fame included Greta Garbo, Irene Dunne, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Jennifer Jones and Hedy Lamarr, as well as Miss Colbert.
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Charles Boyer
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Charles Boyer Born August 28, 1899 in Figeac, Lot, France Died August 26, 1978 in Phoenix, Arizona, USA (suicide) Nickname The Latin Lover Height 5' 9" (1.75 m) Charles Boyer studied philosophy before he went to the theater where he gave his debut in 1920. Although he had at first no intentions to pursue a career at the movies (his first movie was L'homme du large (1920) by Marcel L'Herbier) he used his chance in Hollywood after several filming stations all over Europe. In the beginning of his career his beautiful voice was hidden by the silent movies but in Hollywood he became famous for his whispered declarations of love (like in movies with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich or Ingrid Bergman). In 1934 he married Pat Paterson, his first and (unusual for a star) only wife. He was so faithful to her that he decided to commit suicide two days after her death in 1978. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Volker Boehm Spouse (1) Pat Paterson (14 February 1934 - 24 August 1978) ( her death) ( 1 child) Trivia Took a fatal dose of barbiturates two days after his wife's death, which was also two days before his own seventy-ninth birthday. Had one son: Michael Charles Boyer (born December 9, 1943); committed suicide September 21, 1965. He apparently played Russian roulette with a .38-caliber revolver after quarreling with a girlfriend. He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960. Following his death, he was interred with his wife Pat Paterson at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Received a degree in philosophy from the Sorbonne. Half bald by his twenties, he only wore a toupee for his movie roles. Out in public, he never wore it. Won a special Tony Award in 1952 "for distinguished performance in 'Don Juan in Hell', thereby assisting in a new theatre trend". He was also nominated for Broadway's 1963 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "Lord Pengo". Vice president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964. Off-screen was a happily married bookworm; referred to by his friends as a "stick-in-the-mud". Chuck Jones used his French voice and mannerisms when he created famed cartoon skunk Pepé Le Pew. Boyer was the first choice of director Claude Chabrol in 1959 for "A Double Tour", but the role was ultimately played by Jacques Dacqmine. Anatole Litvak thought Boyer was the best actor he ever worked with. Boyer reportedly turned down offers to star in If I Were King (1938), The Great Waltz (1938), Wuthering Heights (1939). His favorite film was the romantic drama Love Affair (1939). Became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1942. In addition to English and French, he spoke German, Italian and Spanish. Always considered the right side of his face to be the more expressive, and was consistently photographed from that side, right up to the end of his film career. Appears in six Oscar Best Picture nominees: Love Affair (1939), All This, and Heaven Too (1940), Hold Back the Dawn (1941), Gaslight (1944), Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and Fanny (1961), with Around the World in 80 Days the only winner. Lost the Best Actor Oscar to Spencer Tracy twice consecutively for films released in 1937 and 1938. Often associated with the catchphrase "Come with me to the casbah", though he never actually said it on screen. Signed with Ufa in 1928 to make French versions of German films in Berlin. Personal Quotes Mostly I've played other roles, but even when I've played other parts people see me differently. In America, when you have an accent, in the mind of the people they associate you with kissing hands and being gallant. I think that has harmed me, just as it has harmed me to be followed and plagued by a line I never said. That love at first sight should happen to me was Life's most delicious revenge on a self-opinionated fool.

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Charles Boyer died on August 26, 1978 in Phoenix, Arizona US at 78 years of age. He was born on August 28, 1899 in Figeac, France. We are unaware of information about Charles' family or relationships.

1899 - 1978 World Events

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In 1899, in the year that Charles Boyer was born, on February 4th, the Philippine–American War began. The Philippines objected to the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1898, that transferred possession of the Philippines from Spain to the U.S. Filipinos began a fight for independence and fighting between U.S. forces and those of the Philippine Republic broke out. On June 2nd, the Philippines officially declared war on the United States.

In 1902, at the age of just 3 years old, Charles was alive when the world famous Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, made the first gramophone recording by a popular singer. Accompanied by only a piano, his voice recordings became a big seller and did much to popularize the new-fangled gramophone. He had to sing into a metal "horn" that relayed his voice to a metal disc. And the songs had to be under 4 and a half minutes!

In 1921, at the age of 22 years old, Charles was alive when on March 4, Warren G. Harding became President. Previously a U.S. Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Ohio State Senator, Harding was a popular President. But many scandals plagued his short administration (he died in office after 2 and a half years), including the revelations of one of his mistresses and the Teapot Dome scandal. Historically, Harding is rated as one of the worst Presidents.

In 1958, at the age of 59 years old, Charles was alive when on March 24th, Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army. Although he could have served in Special Services as an entertainer, he chose to become a regular soldier. Almost everyone thought it would be the end of his career - it wasn't.

In 1978, in the year of Charles Boyer's passing, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

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