The reason we chose Louis Jourdan as the subject of our weekly Monday Quiz is to not only commemorate his passing, but to spread the word around a bit about the finer points of his extensive movie career both in Hollywood and Europe.
Yes, we assume you knew of Jourdan from Gigi. (There’s our man pictured above with costar Leslie Caron.) But what else did you know about this French-born transplanted Hollywoodian, who died this month in Beverly Hills at age 93.
To review our questions, just scroll down to the blog below. Here we go with our answers:
1) Answer: Both b) and c). We believe that what Jourdan lacked in on-screen charisma he more than made up for by sheer effort. This working actor took on a wide range of movies from films by Alfred Hitchcock and Marc Allegret to a horror item from Wes Craven.
2) Answer: Sorry, this is a trick question. Jourdan appeared onscreen opposite EACH of these actresses: Adrienne Barbeau and Heather Locklear in 1982’s Swamp Thing and 1989’s Return of The Swamp Thing, respectively ; Lilli Palmer in 1962’s Dark Journey; and Senta Berger in the 1967 thriller, To Commit A Murder.
3) Answer: a) Joan Fontaine, who wrote in her memoirs: We (the actress and second husband William Dozier) formed our own film company, Rampart Productions, and made two fine films under its aegis, ‘You Gotta Stay Happy’ with James Stewart, and Stefan Zweig’s story ‘Letter From An Unknown Woman’ with Louis Jourdan (directed by Max Ophuls). Fontaine also costarred in the 1948 picture opposite Jourdan.
4) Answer: b) False. Hitchcock objected to Jourdan’s casting in 1947’s The Paradine Case believing the actor was far too “pretty-boy” for the role of an earthy valet who murders his employer. But the director’s beef was with producer David O. Selznick, who ordered the casting, and not with Jourdan personally.
5) Answer: d) Jourdan was married for the unheard of (by Hollywood standards) total of just once to Berthe ‘Quique’ Frederique Takar. The union lasted from 1946 until her death last year. The actor, by the way, very much disliked his stereotype as the suave French lover, and did what he could to avoid it.
6) Answer: b) False. Jourdan grew up in comfortable surroundings. His father was a well-off professional, at one time the manager of a large hotel in Cannes on the French Riviera. Jourdan studied abroad, and began acting on the Paris stage in his teens.
7) Answer: The movie was MGM’s 1956 thriller, Julie, with Doris Day playing a former flight attendant pursued by a jealous second husband (Jourdan). Co-produced by the actress’ husband at the time, Julie was a low-budget item that’s still of considerable interest to Day fans. For Jourdan, it was another of his bad guy roles.
8) Answer: d) James Dean, who appeared in The Immoralist about a year before his Hollywood breakthrough in Rebel Without A Cause.
9) Answer: b) Jourdan was romantically paired with actress Maggie McNamara in Three Coins In The Fountain.
10) Answer: b) Jourdan learned his virtually unaccented English from his early studies in England.