Biography

The son of a high-ranking French military officer, Jean-Claude Brialy was expected to following in his father's boot-steps upon completing his studies at Strasbourg University. Brialy was deflected from a lifetime in uniform through his blossoming friendship with aspiring filmmaker Philippe de Broca. Deciding to become an actor, Brialy appeared in some of the earliest short-subject projects of such future Nouvelle Vague directors as Jacques Rivette and Jean-Luc Godard. He made his first feature-film appearance in Jean Renoir's Paris Does Strange Things (1958). In collaboration with Claude Chabrol, Brialy starred in Chabrol's maiden directorial effort, Le Beau Serge, then originated the ubiquitous Chabrol protagonist Paul in Les Cousins. This particular role cemented Brialy's standard screen characterization: the impeccably mannered, implicitly decadent boulevardier. One of the busiest of the New Wave directors (especially during the years 1960 and 1961), Jean-Claude Brialy remained so even after launching his own prolific career with 1972's Eglantine.Brialy died of cancer in Paris, France on May 30, 2007. He was 74. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi