A craftsman “. This is how he defined himself in his memoirs “Thank you! », Published in 2014, Claude Brasseur, still rejecting, at the end of a long and rich career, the more pretentious qualifier of« star »and artist. Coming from a dynasty of actors founded in the 19th century, by a first Brewer, Jules, creator of the Théâtre des Nouvelles, crushed by the tutelary figure of his father, Pierre, with a flamboyant personality, this modest and discreet actor nevertheless accompanied of its sensitive presence more than 60 years of history of French cinema and collected two Césars.
→ ARCHIVE. Brewer, sixth generation
Yet it was television that brought this child of the ball, who entered the career by the back door, into notoriety. He will be there forever the Vidocq of the new series of the adventures of the former convict turned policeman, created by Marcel Bluwal at the beginning of the 1970s. If he did not have quite the physique of a young first, his his bass voice, his flirtatious smile and his mole under his left eye immediately made him a familiar and sympathetic figure to the general public.
As at home in drama as in comedy
The cinema will not be long in taking more interest in this young man, who has long played the utilities there. With Ice Breasts, by Georges Lautner in 1974 then An elephant cheats a lot by Yves Robert in 1976 which earned him his first César for a supporting role, Claude Brasseur finally came to the fore. Equally at ease in drama as in comedy, he filmed at the same time with André Téchiné (Barocco), Claude Sautet (A simple story) or Francis Girod (The Wild State, The Banker). But it’s Police war, by Robin Davis for which he won the César for best actor in 1980 and his role in The party by Claude Pinoteau where he plays Vic’s father who will mark a whole generation.
The actor will never leave the big screen – he has appeared in nearly 120 films – and will become a popular figure in French cinema where he has been seen recently in the series of Camping by Fabien Ontoeniente and in the touching The student and Mr. Henri by Ivan Calbérac. As a worthy son of his father, Claude Brasseur never abandoned the boards where he began in 1955. He played great roles there, notably under the direction of Roger Planchon and met with great success in the 1990s with The diner by Jean-Claude Brisville, face to face imaginary between Fouché and Tayllerand then in Rightly and wrongly, by Ronald Harwood where he played alongside Michel Bouquet, the American officer in charge of investigating the Nazi past of conductor Wilhelm Fürtwangler.
Great sportsman, lover of motor racing – he took part in several Paris-Dakar and won one in 1983 as co-driver of the Belgian Jacky Ickx – Claude Brasseur never really took himself seriously and permanently displayed a form of melancholy. In his memories, he evoked a childhood marked by the absence of his parents and his painful experience of the Algerian war where he served three years as a parachutist. Married since 1970 to Michèle Cambon, he had son Alexandre who took over and now plays alone the 7e generation of Brewers.