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CUT THE RIBBON, MAURICE CHEVALIER

Posted on December 3, 2012 by admin

Maurice Chevalier was born in Paris in 1888. Despite his very poor origins, he knew hunger and pain, he was maybe the very first male actor-singer-entrataner to be recognized as a symbol of style. Always wearing marvelous suits and a straw hat, Chevalier was the epitome of French charme and sophistication.  He was the poor guy coming from the street who made it, he was the guy that was playing the role of a frivolous dandy speaking with a made up posh accent. Chevalier started in show business in 1901 singing in a cafe’ for free. In 1909 he became the partner of the biggest female star in France, Frehel. But it didn’t last long, and Maurice, who was good looking and charming, skipped to another powerful woman who launched him at the Folies Berger. She was called  Mistinguette, also nicknamed “the legs”.

Things went fabulous until the First World War. Chevalier went from singing to be a soldier and was taken as prisoner of war in Germany for two years. In 1916 he was released trough the intervention of his Pygmalion Mistinguette. King Alfonso XIII of Spain was maybe her number one fan, so when she asked for a favor, he cannot deny it to her. After being released Chevalier became a star in “Casino De Paris” and created several songs still known today such as “Valentine”. He also played small roles in several films, but he arrived to success with the sound. It was 1928 when Chevalier arrived to Hollywood, from that moment on he participated to a number of movies and plays over the ocean. He  soon become an unofficial ambassador of goodwill in the relations between France and the United States. Smart and elegant until his very old days,  Maurice Chevalier and his ever-present straw hat, they cut the ribbon.