Last Updated: July 17, 2010By Tags:

By ALI NADERZAD – July 17, 2010

I remember the handsome blue eyes, the self-effacing gaze, his turns in France’s generational films. Bernard Giraudeau played alongside actors such as Sophie Marceau and Jean Gabin and was directed by Raul Ruiz and Nicole Garcia. At first he was known for his turn as a seducer, later playing more tortured characters.

Towards the end of his rich career in the arts (his filmography spanned thirty one years) Giraudeau became a pillar of the theatre world as well as an accomplished writer and traveler, even finding time to devote himself to political militancy. On stage he appeared in plays by Shakespeare and Beckett.

He never shied away from talking publicly of the cancer that proved fatal, ever since the announcement was first made ten years ago. “I’ve learned a lot from the disease, I’ve written new pages.” In interviews, however, he quickly deflates the attention that’s given him in general.

From age 15 to 19, he was a mecanic on Marine ship and took off to Canada for a while. “I got quite a schooling there, it was brutal but what great schooling.” He went around the world twice. After knocking around a while, he joined a theatre troupe on an impulse. “Why not, it’s a new journey,” he recently told an interviewer on Swiss television.

Whatever the story or the circumstances, Bernard Giraudeau took to living very seriously. “I get a feeling it’s only now beginning,” he said in a recent interview. He had just turned 63 last month.

(quotes gathered from an interview available from