Jules Berry

Jules Berry (born Marie Louis Jules Paufichet; 9 February 1883 – 23 April 1951) was a French actor.

Jules Berry
Marie Louis Jules Paufichet

(1883-02-09)9 February 1883
Died23 April 1951(1951-04-23) (aged 68)
OccupationActor, director
Years active1883–1951


Early life

Berry and his two brothers were born to parents who sold hardware and settled in Poitou. The family moved to Paris in 1888.[1] Berry completed his studies at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and then graduated from École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts.


It was during his studies that Berry developed an interest in the theater. Following an audition, he was hired by the Théâtre Antoine-Simone Berriau to act in La Mort du duc d'Enghien by Léon Hennique, and Le Perroquet vert by Arthur Schnitzler.

Later he performed at the Théâtre de l'Ambigu-Comique and the Théâtre de l'Athénée. During a tour in Lyon, he was noticed by Jean-François Ponson, who hired him for a period of twelve years at the Théâtre royal des Galeries Saint-Hubert in Brussels. Audiences in Brussels gave him a warm welcome, where he played in productions such as Le Mariage de mademoiselle Beulemans.

Berry subsequently performed in thirty successful plays for Marcel Achard, Alfred Savoir, Louis Verneuil, and Roger Ferdinand. One of Berry's first movie roles was the silent film Oliver Cromwell (1911) directed by Henri Desfontaines. His first appearance in a talking picture was Mon coeur et ses millions (1931) with Suzy Prim. Over the course of his career, Berry acted in eighty-nine motion pictures.

Bombastic, extravagant, and whimsical, Berry was as flamboyant as any entertainer of the period, including Pierre Brasseur. Berry is often considered one of the greatest actors in the history of French cinema.[2]

Among Berry's best films are: The Crime of Monsieur Lange by Jean Renoir, Les Visiteurs du Soir by Marcel Carné (where he was wonderful in the role of the devil), Le Jour Se Lève by Marcel Carné, Le Voyageur de la Toussaint by Louis Daquin, Baccara by Yves Mirande, 27 Rue de la Paix by Richard Pottier, and L'Habit vert by Roger Richebé.

Berry ended his film career in 1951 to interpret the texts of Jacques Prévert.

Personal life

Berry was romantically involved with actresses Jane Marken, Suzy Prim, and Josseline Gaël. He and Gaël had a daughter named Michelle in 1939.[3]

A compulsive gambler, Berry frequented casinos and horse races.[3] In April 1951, Berry was admitted to the Hôpital Broussais, where he died of a heart attack caused by treatment for rheumatism. He is buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery (division 80).

Selected filmography


  1. Barrot, Olivier (1972). Jules Berry, 1883 - 1951, Anthologie Du Cinema, No 68, Mai-Juin 1972. Anthologie Du Cinema. ASIN B003U2O1QY.
  2. Historiens & géographes, n°388, octobre 2004 : La guerre d'Algérie 19541962. Association des professeurs d'Histoire et de Géographie. 2004. ASIN B00AZLMIB8.
  3. Boussinot, Roger (1986). L'encyclopédie du cinéma A-H. Bordas. ISBN 978-2040106034.
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