Biography

French comic actor Jean-Pierre Cassel made his movie debut at the invitation of Gene Kelly, who cast Cassel in the 1956 Paris-filmed seriocomedy The Happy Road (1956). At least, that's what the press releases claimed; actually, the tall, elastic-faced Cassel had been plugging away in films on a minor basis since 1950. Shortly after getting his big break in Happy Road, Cassel was perfectly cast in the naif title role in the 1958 film version of Voltaire's Candide. He has since been a stalwart in the comedies of director Phillipe de Broca, nearly always playing latter-day variations of the ingenuous Candide. In 1974, Jean-Pierre Cassel added thousands of American filmgoers to his fan following with his appearances as the bumbling King Louis XIII in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers. Cassel died of cancer, at age 74, on April 19, 2007. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi