Grégoire Aslan

Grégoire Aslan (born Krikor Aslanian, 28 March 1908 – 8 January 1982) was an Armenian actor and musician based in Switzerland.[1]

Grégoire Aslan
Krikor Aslanian

(1908-03-28)28 March 1908
Died8 January 1982(1982-01-08) (aged 73)
Resting placeNeuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery
Other namesCoco Aslan
Years active1935–1982
Spouse(s)Jacqueline Dumonceau
(m. 1940; div. 19??)
Denise Noël
(m. 1948; div. 1955)

Early life

Born in Switzerland or in Constantinople,[2] according to different sources, Aslan made his professional début at 18 as a vocalist, trumpeter and drummer[3] with the Paris dance band of Ray Ventura et ses Collegiens, then launched an acting career under the name of Coco Aslan. He also performed with the famed Django Reinhardt.[4] From 1948 to 1955 he was married to French theatre actress Denise Noël.[5]


His first film appearance was uncredited in Marc Didier's 1935 Le Bille de mille.[6] His first credited appearance was in Feux de joie (1939), along with conductor Ventura.[7] During World War II he toured South America with actor Louis Jouvet and eventually started his own theatre troupe.[8] He became an indispensable feature in many British and American films, usually playing foreigners – Russians, Frenchmen, Italians, Germans, Albanians and Middle Easterners – with equal finesse.

Aslan's more prominent screen appearances include gangster boss Duca in Joe MacBeth (1955), King of Kings (1961) as Herod, and Cleopatra (1963) as Porthinos. In 1961, in The Devil at 4 O'Clock, alongside Frank Sinatra and Spencer Tracy, he portrayed Marcel, a criminal who finds repentance by giving his life to save children from being killed by a volcanic eruption on a South Sea island. In Paris When It Sizzles (1964), he played a police chief. He played another police chief in The Return of the Pink Panther (1975). He appeared in over 110 film and TV roles.[9] He also appeared on the French stage in productions from 1946 to 1981.[10]


Aslan died of a heart attack while visiting Cornwall, England.[11]

Selected filmography


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