Nationality: French. Born: Sceaux, 8 November 1935 (or 1936). Education: Attended a Catholic boarding school in Bagneux (expelled); St. Nicholas d'Issy and St. Nicholas d'Igny. Military Service: French Marines, 1952–53: parachutist in Indochina. Family: Married 1) the actress Nathalie Barthelemy (born Canovas), 1964 (divorced 1969), one son; 2) Rosalie, son: Alain-Fabien, daughter: Anouchka. Career: Mid-1950s—worked at various odd jobs, including waiter, salesman, and porter in Les Halles market; 1957—film debut in Yves Allégret's Quand la femme s'en mêle ; declined contract with Selznick studios; 1960—international critical recognition for role in Visconti's Rocco e i suoi fratelli ; 1961—stage role in Tis Pity She's a Whore , directed by Visconti, Paris; 1964—formed film company Delbeau Productions; produced short film Journal d'un combat directed by Guy Gilles; 1968—involved in murder, drug, and sex scandal that indirectly implicated major politicians and show business personalities; eventually cleared of charges; late 1960s—formed film company Adel-Film; 1970—began producing feature films; 1981—directed first film Pour la peau d'un flic ; 1988—in TV mini-series Cinema . Address: c/o Leda Productions, 4 rue Chambiges, Paris 75800, France.
Quand la femme s'en mêle ( Send a Woman When the Devil Fails ; When the Woman Gets Confused ) (Yves Allégret) (as Jo)
Sois belle et tais-toi ( Blonde for Danger ; Just Another Pretty Face ) (Marc Allégret); Christine (Gaspard-Huit) (as Franz)
Faibles femmes ( Women Are Weak ; Three Murderesses ) (Boisrand) (as Julien); Le Chemin des écoliers (Boisrand) (as Antoine Michaud); Plein soleil ( Purple Noon ; Lust for Evil ) (Clément) (as Tom Ripley)
Rocco e i suoi fratelli ( Rocco and His Brothers ; Rocco et ses freres ) (Visconti) (as Rocco Parondi)
Che gioia vivere ( Quelle joie de vivre ) (Clément) (as Ulysse Cecconato); "Agnès Bernauer" ep. of Amours célèbres (Boisrand)
L'eclisse ( The Eclipse ) (Antonioni) (as Piero); "L'Inceste" ep. of Le Diable et les dix commandements ( The Devil and the Ten Commandments ) (Duvivier) (as Pierre Messager); Mélodie en sous-sol ( The Big Snatch ; Any Number Can Play ; Big Grab ) (Verneuil); Carambolages (Bluwal)
Il gattopardo ( The Leopard ) (Visconti) (as Tancredi); La Tulipe noire ( The Black Tulip ) (Christian-Jaque) (as Julien de Saint-Preux)
Les Félins ( Joy House ; The Love Cage ) (Clément) (as Marc); L'Insoumis (Cavalier) (as Thomas); 2nd ep. of The Yellow Rolls-Royce (Asquith) (as Stefano); L'Amour à la mer (Gilles)
Once a Thief (Ralph Nelson) (as Eddie Pedak)
Lost Command ( Not for Honor and Glory ) (Robson) (as Capt. Philippe Escavier); Paris brûle-t-il? ( Is Paris Burning? ) (Clément) (as Jacques Chaban-Delmas); Texas across the River (Michael Gordon) (as Don Andrea Baldasar)
Les Aventuriers ( The Last Adventure ) (Enrico) (as Manu); Le Samourai ( The Godson ) (Melville) (as Jef Costello); Diaboliquement vôtre ( Diabolically Yours ) (Duvivier) (as Pierre)
"William Wilson" ep. of Histoires extraordinaires ( Tales of Mystery ; Spirits of the Dead ) (Malle) (as Wilson); The Girl on a Motorcycle ( La Motorcyclette ; Naked under Leather ) (Cardiff) (as Daniel); Adieu l'ami ( Farewell Friend ; Honor among Thieves ) (Herman) (as Dino Barran); La Piscine ( The Sinners ) (Deray); Le Clan des Siciliens ( The Sicilian Clan ) (Verneuil) (as Roger Sartet)
Jeff (Herman); Le Cercle rouge (Melville); Madly ( The Love Mates ) (Kahane)
Borsalino (Deray) (as Roch Siffredi, + pr)
Doucement les basses! (Deray); Fantasia chez les ploucs (Pirès); Soleil rouge ( Red Sun ) (Terence Young) (as Gauche); La veuve Couderc (Granier-Deferre)
L'Assassinat de Trotsky ( The Assassination of Trotsky ) (Losey) (as Frank Jacson); Un flic ( Dirty Money ; A Cop ) (Melville) (as Coleman); La prima notte di quiete ( Le Professeur ) (Zurlini); Traitement du choc ( Shock Treatment ) (Jessu) (as Devilers); Il était une fois un flic (Lautner); Big Guns ( No Way Out ; Tony Arzenta ) (Tessari)
Scorpio (Winner) (as Laurier); Deux hommes dans la ville ( Two Men in Town ; Two against the City ) (Giovanni) (as Gino, + pr); Les Granges brûlées (Chapot)
La Race des "Seigneurs" (Granier-Deferre); Les Seins de glace (Lautner); Borsalino & Co. (Deray) (as Roch Siffredi, + pr)
Flic Story (Deray) (as Roger Borniche, + pr); Zorro (Tessari); Le Gitan (Giovanni) (title role, + co-pr)
Mr. Klein (Losey) (title role, + pr); Comme un boomerang (Giovanni) (+ co-sc); Le Gang (Deray)
America at the Movies (as narrator); L'Homme presse (Molinaro); Armageddon (Jessua); Mort d'un pourri (Lautner); Attention, les enfants regardent ( Attention, the Kids Are Watching ) (Leroy) (as Man)
Indian Summer (Zurlini) (as Professor)
Le Toubib ( The Medic ) (Granier-Deferre); The Concorde— Airport '79 ( Airport '80—The Concorde ) (Rich) (as Metrand); Teheran Incident ( Teheran 1943 ; The Eliminator ) (Alov and Naumov)
Trois Hommes à abattre ( Three Men to Destroy ) (Deray) (as Michel Gerfaut)
Le Choc ( The Shock ) (Davis)
Swann in Love ( Un Amour de Swann ) (Schlöndorff) (as Baron De Charlus)
Notre histoire ( Our Story ) (Blier); Parole de flic (Pinheiro) (as Daniel Pratt, + co-sc)
Le Passage (Manzor) (as Jean Diaz, + co-pr)
Ne Reveillez pas un flic qui dort (Pinheiro) (as Eugene Grindel, + co-sc)
Nouvelle Vague (Godard) (as Roger Lennox/Richard Lennox); Dancing Machine (Behat) (as Alan Wolf)
Le Retour de Casanova ( Casanova's Return ) (Niermans) (title role, + co-exec pr); Un Crime (Deray)
L'ours en Peluche ( The Teddy Bear ) (Deray) (as Jean Riviere)
Les Cent et une Nuits ( A Hundred and One Nights ) (Varda) (as Actor for a Day)
Cannes . . . les 400 coups (Nadeau) (as Himself); Jour et la nuit ( Day and Night ) (Levy) (as Alexandre)
Une chance sur deux ( Half a Chance ) (Leconte) (as Vignal)
Luchino Visconti (Lizzani) (as Himself)
Les Acteurs (Blier) (as himself)
Journal d'un combat (Gilles—short)
Sortie de secours (Kahane)
Le Passage (Manzor)
Le Retour de Casanova (Niermans)
Pour la peau d'un flic ( For a Cop's Hide ; Whirlpool )
Le Battant ( The Cache ) (as Darnay, + co-sc)
"Creating with a Passion," interview in Films and Filming (London), June 1970.
Interview in Cinéma Français (Paris), October 1980.
Interviews in Ciné Revue (Paris), 27 August 1981 and 27 January 1983.
Jousse, Thierry, Serge Toubiana and Jean-François Rouger, "Mystére Delon," interview and article in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), April 1996.
Warfield, Nancy, Alain Delon and Borsalino; An Essay on the Actor and the Film , New York, 1973.
Rode, Henri, Alain Delon , Paris, 1977.
Alain Delon: Films/Portraits , Paris, 1979.
Zana, Jean-Claude, Alain Delon , Paris, 1981.
Barbier, Philippe, Alain Delon , Paris, 1983.
Zondergeld, Rein A., Alain Delon: seine Filme, sein Leben , Munich, 1984.
Dazat, Olivier, Alain Delon , Paris, 1988.
Current Biography 1964 , New York, 1964.
Bean, R., "Reaching for the World," in Films and Filming (London), February 1965.
Ecran (Paris), January 1978.
Film Français (Paris), 7 January 1983.
"Dossier: Alain Delon," in Cinématographe (Paris), September/October 1984.
Cahiers de la Cinémathéque (Paris), October 1992.
Film und Fernsehen (G), vol 23, no. 4, 1995.
Hamacher, Rolf-Ruediger, "Eiskalt und Charmant," in Film-dienst (G), 14 March 1995.
Stars , Winter 1995.
* * *
Alain Delon is, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, the most popular male star of the contemporary French film. Without previous professional preparation, he came to embody the young, energetic, often morally corrupted man. With his attractive appearance, he was also predestined to play tender lovers and romantic heroes, and for many he was in the beginning a French embodiment of the type created in America by James Dean.
His first outstanding success came with the role of the parasite Tom Ripley in Clément's Plein soleil . Delon presented a psychological portrait of a murderous young cynic who attempts to take on the identity of his victim. A totally different role was offered him by Visconti in Rocco e i suoi fratelli . In this film, Delon plays the devoted Rocco, who accepts the greatest sacrifices to save his characterless brother Simon. After several other films in Italy, he returned to the criminal genre, with Jean Gabin, in Melodie en sous-sol (Verneuil). This work, a classic example of the genre, was distinguished not only by a soundly worked-out screenplay, but also by the careful production and the excellent performances of both Delon and Gabin. Several other films about gangsters or thieves followed, including a historical bandit in La Tulipe noire (Christian-Jaque).
Since 1968, Delon has often participated in his films as a producer. Though he has continued to make crime and thriller films, he has also undoubtedly attempted to extend his range. Two interesting psychological roles—as a judge in Les Granges brulées (Chapot) and as the self-assured doctor in a luxurious sanatorium in Traitement du choc (Jessu)—were followed by his role in Joseph Losey's pretentious reconstruction of the murder of the revolutionary in exile, The Assassination of Trotsky . In Mr. Klein he took on the ambitious role of an Aryan merchant who throws in his lot with the Jews in occupied France. A serious attempt to consider the imperfect judicial system of contemporary society is made in the film Deux hommes dans la ville , in which he plays a thief who tries in vain to participate in ordinary life after his release from prison. His most unusual role has been in Schlöndorff's Un Amour de Swann , based on the Proust novel, continued evidence of his genuine acting talent and attempts to seek new expressive opportunities.