Louis de Funes – biography of the great comedian

6 min read
Louis de Funes – biography of the great comedian
Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza. Picture: newstyle-mag.com

Louis de Funes is a famous French actor and screenwriter. He started his career at the age of 32. The great comedian of the 20th century, received the Cesar award. He is called one of the best comedians of the last century.

Children’s time

July 31, 1914 – birth

He was born on 07/31/1914 in the French Republic near Paris. Today, his birthday is celebrated by the French as a national celebration.

The parents of the popular film actor are aristocrats by origin, natives of Spanish lands. Papa Funes is a lawyer by profession, in the French Republic he was engaged in the processing of diamonds.

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Mom, in addition to Spanish, also has Portuguese roots. The couple moved to French soil in 1904. Here they legalized their relationship. At home, those around and relatives opposed their union.

In his youth, Louis was artistic and sweet. The child was fluent in several languages: English, French, Spanish. I liked to draw, went to piano lessons. There is nothing strange – later he grew up as a pianist, for some time he performed with jazz concerts. The guests of the music performance noted that Louis was grimacing entertainingly and eloquently. This made everyone laugh and laugh.

Stages of life


The Second World War began and at the very beginning de Funes was called to repay his debt to the Motherland. Louis smokes a lot of cigarettes, he was tormented by a cough. Military doctors came to the conclusion that the young man had tuberculosis, after 4 weeks he was sent home. In the future, he was still called up, only in 1947 he was completely commissioned.

The Second World War has ended. France began to rebuild, recovering from past terrible events. De Funes decides to become an actor. In the past, he was a participant in theater courses conducted by R. Simon.

1945 – the first experience in cinema

The initial cinematic role is the feature film “The Barbizon Temptation”, filmed immediately after the end of hostilities. This picture of Louis did not give either popularity or recognition.

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1958 – fame and success

De Funes plays the first male role in the film “Not Caught – Not a Thief.” It comes out in 1958. Then the cinematic work made a splash in France. The actor is beginning to be noticed on the streets, he becomes a famous and sought-after actor in France.

Early 60s – universal recognition

True fame came in the early years of the 60s. Louis shines on the screens, he is loved and revered by everyone. In 12 months, he manages to star in four feature films. Cinema with Fantomas has become the hallmark of the comedian. The role of the policeman Juve is the main character for de Funes. Initially, it was planned to shoot 10 parts about the atrocities of the eminent criminal, but after the third series, public interest began to disappear, so the shooting had to be stopped.

Louis de Funes
Louis de Funes. Photo: slon.fr

In the future, the next cinematic work of De Funes was warmly welcomed by a million-strong army of fans around the world. Louis celebrated his career as a slow but fundamental development as a professional actor. During the first trial roles, the French comedian tried to add more nuance and detail to his tiny roles, he paid a lot of attention to gestures and facial expressions.

As a result, Louis had a “baggage of developments”, which helped him in many ways in his career growth. The actor admits that he is satisfied with his life and, on occasion, would have lived it in exactly the same way, without changing or adding anything.

1968 – France’s first actor

Received the title of “Best Actor”. It should be noted that then his career began to decline.

1970s – the highest award in France

In continuation of the cinematographic activity, Louis has always been a famous and adored audience. He worked hard and in the spring of 1973 he was awarded the main honor of the country (the Order of the Legion of Honor).

1971 – the film with Funes became the most successful in France

“Megalomania” comes out in 1971, at the same time it turns out to be the main picture of the year. In the foreground of the film de Funes.

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1975 – actor’s illness

Louis had to suffer 2 heart attacks – on the recommendation of doctors, he stopped appearing in films and moved out of town to his own estate built in the 17th century. Away from the noisy capital, the movie star enthusiastically grows roses. A certain variety of these flowers later received the name de Funes.

However, after the official end of his career, the actor starred in the film “Wing or Leg” and some more. The film work of the maestro has always been at its best.

Family and children

1936 – marriage

Louis meets Germaine L. and she becomes his chosen one. A year later, a boy is born in their family, he is called Daniel.

1942 divorce

The famous actor is divorcing his wife. Their union lasted about 11 months.

1943 – second marriage

In occupation Paris, fascist soldiers received music lessons from de Funes. In those days, he worked at a school, where he draws attention to his colleague Jeanne de Maupassant, by the way, she is a relative of the great writer Guy de Maupassant (great-niece).

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The girl liked the young teacher, although he was invisible to her. Then she noted how de Funes played the piano perfectly. Soon the couple celebrated the wedding.

The second marriage to de Maupassant was happy and long. The lovers lived for forty years under the same roof in love and harmony. The death of the famous actor separated the spouses in 1983.

De Funes and his wife had two boys – Patrick and Olivier. The first one trained as a doctor. Olivier in his youth was involved with his father in some films, but the young man did not make a career as an actor. He later becomes a pilot.

Great comedian

Louis was a mysterious and interesting person. His relatives described the famous actor as a real aristocrat who loved his only wife all his life. He liked to fish, he enthusiastically grew flowers on his country estate.

The great comedian shunned the hustle and bustle of everyday life. He lived in some separate little world, where he allowed only the elect.

Cesar Awards

The incomparable exceptional contribution of de Funes to world culture and cinema is beyond doubt. Played over 115 different roles in feature films. Brilliant artist, great comedian. His outstanding outstanding talent was awarded the “Cesar”.

In terms of fees for the film, Louis surpassed all other artists in France. He was loved for his rare hilarious facial expressions and the ability to grimace.

1983 – the death of a brilliant artist

De Funes died of heart disease, it happened in the winter of 1983. Then the actor spent a long time on a bench near his flower beds. The whole day did not pass bad health due to heart ailments.

However, the actor did not seek sympathy from others, only referred to a possible cold. Monsieur Louis is a giant of comedy, with his departure, comedy is literally orphaned. The audience for a long time refused to believe in his absence.

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