Louis Jourdan (born June 19, 1919) is a French actor, known chiefly for his suave manner and good looks.
Born Louis Gendre in Marseille, France, he was educated in France, Turkey and England and trained as an actor at the Ã‰cole Dramatique. He made his film debut in 1939. Following the German occupation of France during World War II, he continued to make films but after refusing to participate in Nazi propaganda films, he joined the French Resistance. After the 1944 liberation of France by the Allies, Louis Jourdan married Berthe Frederique with whom he had a son.
In 1947, Jourdan accepted an offer from a Hollywood studio to appear in The Paradine Case, an Alfred Hitchcock drama starring Gregory Peck. There, he became friends with several stars who shared his love of the game of croquet. After a number of American films, his most notable work was in the 1954 light-hearted comedy-romance, Three Coins in the Fountain following which he made his Broadway debut in the lead role in the Billy Rose drama, The Immoralist. He returned to Broadway for a short run in 1955 and that year made his U.S. television debut as Inspector Beaumont in the series "Paris Precinct".
During the 1950s, Louis Jourdan made several international films including playing the male lead in La MariÃ©e est trop belle opposite Brigitte Bardot. However, he is best remembered as the romantic lead opposite Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier in the 1958 film version of the Colette novel, Gigi. The film earned nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In later years, Jourdan appeared in a number of films, playing the part of the villain, including 1977's Count Dracula and 1978's Murder Under Glass Columbo episode. In the 1983 James Bond film, Octopussy, he was cast as "Kamal Khan," a Bond villain. In 1984 played the role of Pierre de Coubertin in a TV Series about the 1896 Summer Olympics : "The First Olympics Athens 1896".
Tragedy struck when his son died of a drug overdose in 1981. Louis Henry Jourdan was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Louis Jourdan has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6153 and 6445 Hollywood Blvd. He is retired and living in the south of France.