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Louis Jourdan's Death

Louis Jourdan

The life and death of Louis Jourdan:

He was Hollywood's epitome of the French lover in the 1940's and 50's He starred in several films playing that typecast and had a career that spanned decades. But in his personal life, despite his suave screen image, he was a pretty traditional guy. Louis Jourdan and his wife were married for more than 60 years

He was born Louis Gendre in Marseille France. And when he became an actor he changed his name, first to Pierre Jourdan and then to Louis Jourdan.

His father owned a hotel in Cannes and that's where Louis took the opportunity to meet actors, directors and other artists, who encouraged him to study drama in Paris.

But during the German occupation of France during World War II Louis was forced into a labor camp, cutting wood and digging ditches. He was assigned to make propaganda films for the Nazis but escaped and joined the French underground.

He had striking good looks and it is first major role played across Charles Boyer, whom he eventually succeeded as Hollywood's ideal of the French lover.

In movies made in the late '40's and 1950's, Jourdan romanced Joan Fontaine, Jennifer Jones, Grace Kelly and Shirley MacLaine.

In "Gigi", he co-starred with Leslie Caron.

He had a major role in "Can-Can", with MacLaine and Frank Sinatra.

Louis Jourdan in Can-Can

Another major role came in "Three Coins in the Fountain".

Louis Jourdan, Three Coins in the Fountain

…along with other American movies.

He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Louis Jourdan, star on walk of fame

Despite his fame Louis Jourdan wasn't sentimental about his movie days. In 1985 he said he never even watched his films on TV.

He lost his 30-year-old son Louis Henry of a drug overdose in 1981, but he outlived his wife of more than 60 years, Berthe Frederique Jourdan, by about a year.

Louis Jourdan and wife

The famous French lover died of natural causes in his Beverly Hills, California home at the age of 93 on Valentine's Day, 2015.

Louis Jourdan later in life

He was survived by a niece and nephew.