Henri Marchand (Henri François Jean André Marchand)
After a very promising debut in René Clair's classic early talkie 'A nous la liberté' in 1931, co-starring with Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand seemed bound for a glorious career.He had indeed excelled as one of the two fugitives symbolizing the spirit of liberty within an oppressive society. However - and against all expectations - he never again found a role that lived up to this wonderful first role. As a matter of fact, Henri Marchand did only thirty-five more films in three decades, mostly in bit parts, most of the time uncredited. Read more... late thirties and the late forties. He was even downright absent from the screens between 1939 and 1946. Even while he was rather active in the early thirties, he was in six shorts which left little or no imprint on movie history. Why on earth didn't his career bloom? No one could say. And this is all the stranger as this comic actor was among the best in his league. He sometimes escaped this curse though and could occasionally shine in more fleshed-out than usual roles such as those of Passepoil, the funny sidekick in René Sti's 'Le Bossu' (1934) or of Germain in Christian-Jaque's 'Monsieur Personne' (1936). The fifties were a little bit hard on him, as he was cast in several good films, oddly enough very often having him wear a cassock (notably in René Clair's brilliant 'Les belles de nuit' in 1952). However, the French cinema would have been more inspired to let such a talented thespian express his full potential.