The Eye of INA: Michel Galabru, a Raimu with a dream corner


The French actor, accomplice of Louis de Funès and César for best actor in 1977, would have celebrated his hundredth birthday on October 27. In tribute to his memory, the Madelen platform proposes to find in particular the two major interviews with André Halimi carried out in 2007.

Michel Galabru always had something to say, with, in the city, a humor close to that which he displayed on the screen. The two interviews with André Halimi offered by Madelen on the occasion of the centenary of his birth largely confirm this. Note that these are real “collectors»: the images are those of the filming of the sequences, without any editing, with retakes when there is an error! His dialogue with his friend Jean-Pierre Darras where he talks about his job is irresistible.

Who was hiding behind this face often impassive and recognizable among a thousand? At the end of a long life, accompanied by an exceptional career, Michel Galabru confessed one regret: no one has ever really understood that, behind the mask of “funnywhich stuck to his skin, there were immense inner sufferings from which he had never been able to heal.

As a child, after having repeated three times before being expelled from seven schools, he told himself that he was nothing and would probably not become much. He consoled himself by telling himself that Sacha Guitry had been fired twelve times. “ It proves that he had more talent than me! “, he added, evoking the one he considered his absolute master. As a teenager, he went several times to the private mansion on Avenue Elisée-Reclus. Each time, he didn’t dare ring the bell. So he sat on a nearby bench and waited, hoping to see the author out of his life. It never happened. When the building was destroyed, in memory of that time, he managed to buy the bench linked to so many memories.

César for best actor in 1977

In almost seven decades of career, he has made more than 250 films. If his role as a serial killer in The judge and the murdererby Bertrand Tavernier, earned him the César for best actor, he remains, in the minds of several generations of spectators, Warrant Officer Gerber from the series Gendarmes.

Louis de Funès, who particularly esteemed him, had then said of him: “ It’s a new Raimu with a dream corner in the eye “. This character has fortunately marked his career much more than the dozens of “nanarsin which he filmed for strictly dietary reasons. He said, among other things, that a director had forced him, for the needs of a scene, to spend a day in a basket. It was at the time when he dreamed of a notoriety of which, very quickly, he measured the reality. “ One day, he said, at the hotel where I was staying during a shoot, I was given a letter by mistake intended for Pierre Perret! To find out what was being written to someone who was already a star, I opened this mail with a thousand precautions: it was the gas bill! »

In the city, especially in front of a reporter, his number was permanent. He was not only an actor on a set and specified, with a joyful eye, “ being an actor is not a job, it’s a joy » . This character that he had voluntarily created for himself sometimes made us forget that the dunce of colleges and high schools had turned into a particularly brilliant apprentice actor.

In 1950, a first prize at the Conservatory of Dramatic Art allowed him to enter the Comédie-Française where he spent seven years as a resident. The private theater then regularly called on his services. He filled the halls playing Molière, Anouilh or Pagnol, whom he was particularly fond of. He knew the consecration in 2008, by receiving the Molière du Comédien for Socks-Opus 124 by Daniel Colas. His last show allowed him to come full circle: The dunceonly one on stage where the former bad student remembered the good grades that had then marked his life.

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