Depardieu: a biography

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Knopf, Mar 15, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 351 pages
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Gerard Depardieu's own extraordinary candor underlies the unique resonance of this full-scale biography, the first to be written with the great French film star's total cooperation. In revealing and often astonishing detail, we see his rise from impossible beginnings: one of six children born in extreme poverty; the father a small-town illiterate, alcoholic, almost mute; the boy himself stuttering, barely speaking; the adolescent miraculously gregarious and independent, but exploding into mischief, petty crime, and, on occasion, violence; and, at the same time, escaping into - falling in love with - American movies. We see him at age sixteen, bursting out - to Paris, to freedom; discovering Marlon Brando and James Dean; wandering into an acting class - his talent immediately recognized, his horrendous speech defects addressed, his life as an actor beginning in earnest. From his first small parts on stage and in film and from his first major role (in Les Valseuses), through The Last Metro, The Return of Martin Guerre, Jean de Florette, and his Oscar-nominated Cyrano de Bergerac, one of the most exciting film careers of our time unfolds: Depardieu's work with Francois Truffaut, Catherine Deneuve, Yves Montand, Robert De Niro, Bernardo Bertolucci, and others, and his way of working - his effect on fellow actors and on directors, his preparation for his parts - are richly presented. And here is the man as well as the actor: his friendships, the huge film "family" he creates for himself and nourishes and is nourished by, the intense pressure of his self-imposed challenges, his marriage, which endures despite a style of life somewhere between excess and the impossible. Paul Chutkow has spenthundreds of hours over a period of two years talking, visiting, traveling with Depardieu. And he has spoken with hundreds of Depardieu's friends, colleagues, admirers, and critics. His book provides a riveting portrait of a great actor and an authentic inside look at filmmaking in France and America.

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DEPARDIEU: A Biography

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Tiptop film writing and a bathyspheric exploration of the complex emotional depths of a great actor. Chutkow writes on French film for The New York Times and Vogue. He spent three years interviewing ... Read full review

Depardieu: a biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A major star of French cinema since the early Seventies, Gerard Depardieu has become increasingly popular in America thanks to fascinating performances in such films as Jean de Florette (1985) and the ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Lee Froschheiser is president and CEO of MAP. He has managed organizations in the private and public sectors, and as a coach and mentor, he has trained many of the premier business leaders in the United States today.

Paul Chutkow is the best-selling author of Visa: The Power of an Idea, Harvests of Joy, Depardieu, and Perrier: The Book.

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