Pierre Richard-Willm

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Pierre Richard-Willm
Richard-Wilms Harcourt 1941.jpg
Richard-Willm in 1941
Alexandre-Pierre Richard

(1895-11-03)3 November 1895
Bayonne, France
Died12 April 1983(1983-04-12) (aged 87)
Paris, France
Occupationactor, designer, sculptor

Pierre Richard-Willm (3 November 1895 12 April 1983) was a French stage and film actor during the 1930s and 1940s. [1] [2]



Pierre Richard-Willm (originally Alexandre-Pierre Richard) was born in south-western France in the city of Bayonne. He was brought up at first in Barcelona and then, after the death of his mother Elisabeth-Fanny Willm, in Paris. [3] In 1916 he joined the army, and fought during World War I. [1]

After the war he became a sculptor, and in 1921 he started playing bit roles on stage. In 1924 he took part of in the sculpturing art competition of the Games of the VIII Olympiad, making a group of sculptures on rugby and skating. [4] [5]

In 1925 he was chosen by Ida Rubinstein to appear with her in a stage production of La Dame aux camélias at the Odéon in Paris, and other leading roles at that theatre followed. [6] His film debut came in Toute sa vie (1930, under the direction of Alberto Cavalcanti, and in 1934 he found one of his most successful film roles in Jacques Feyder's Le Grand Jeu . Throughout the 1930s he made several films each year, often appearing as military or aristocratic characters, and he became a very popular star despite feeling sometimes ill at ease with his romantic screen persona. [7]

One of Richard-Willm's frequent co-stars was Edwige Feuillère, and it was with her that he returned to the stage in Paris and on tour in La Dame aux Camélias in 1940/41. He also continued acting in films during World War II, including the role of Edmond Dantes in Le Comte de Monte-Cristo . [8]

In 1946 he decided to give up working in the cinema and he went to the Théâtre du Peuple in Bussang in the Vosges, a theatre with which he had maintained a close connection ever since his first visit there as a teenager in 1911. He became its artistic director from 1946 until 1971 and in numerous new productions he worked extensively on the design of sets and costumes. [6] [9] [10]

In 1975 Richard-Willm published his autobiography under the title Loin des étoiles. He died in Paris, and is buried at the cemetery in Bussang.


YearOriginal titleEnglish titleDirectorRole
1930 Toute sa vie Alberto Cavalcanti Stanley Vanning
1931 Les Vacances du diable The Devil's Holiday Alberto Cavalcanti Dr. Reynolds
Un soir, au front Alexandre Ryder Lieutenant Siredon
Autour d'une enquête About an Inquest Robert Siodmak & Henri Chomette Paul Bernt
1932 Le Petit Écart Reinhold Schünzel & Henri Chomette Bernard Heller, lawyer
Kiki Pierre Billon & Karel Lamač Raymond Leroy
Baby Pierre Billon & Karel Lamač Lord Cecil
Les Amours de Pergolèse Guido Brignone Pergolèse
Sous le casque de cuir Under the Leather Helmet Albert de Courville Captain Sourvian
1933 Pour être aimé To Be Loved Jacques Tourneur Gérard d'Ormoise
La Fille du régiment Pierre Billon & Karel Lamač Lord Robert
L'Épervier The Sparrowhawk Marcel L'Herbier René de Tierrache
1934 Le Prince Jean Prince Jean Jean de Marguenat Prince Jean d'Axel
La Maison dans la dune The House on the Dune Pierre Billon Sylvain
Le Grand Jeu Jacques Feyder Pierre Martel
Fanatisme Gaston Ravel & Tony Lekain Marcel Besnard
Les Nuits moscovites Moscow Nights Alexis Granowsky Captain Ignatoff
1935 Stradivarius Géza von Bolváry & Albert Valentin Sándor Teleky
Barcarolle Gerhard Lamprecht & Roger Le Bon Bianco Colloredo
La Route impériale Marcel L'Herbier Lieut. Brent
1936 Anne-Marie Raymond Bernard L'inventeur
L'Argent Pierre Billon Saccard
1937 Courrier sud Southern Mail Pierre Billon Jacques Bernis
Un carnet de bal Life Dances On Julien Duvivier Eric Irvin
La Dame de Malacca Woman of Malacca Marc Allégret Prince Selim
Yoshiwara Max Ophüls Lieutenant Serge Polenoff
Au service du tsar Pierre Billon Count Tomsky
1938 Le Roman de Werther The Novel of Werther Max Ophüls Werther
La Tragédie impériale Rasputin Marcel L'Herbier Count Igor Kourloff
La principessa Tarakanova
/ Tarakanowa
Princess Tarakanova Fedor Ozep Count Orloff
1939 La Loi du nord Law of the North Jacques Feyder Robert Shaw
Entente cordiale Entente cordiale Marcel L'Herbier Captain Charles Roussel
1941 Les Jours heureux Happy Days Jean de Marguenat Michel
1942 La Duchesse de Langeais Jacques de Baroncelli Armand de Montriveau
La Croisée des chemins André Berthomieu Pascal Rouvray
1943 Le Comte de Monte-Cristo The Count of Monte Cristo Robert Vernay Edmond Dantès
1945 La Fiancée des ténèbres Serge de Poligny Roland Samblaca
1947 Rêves d'amour Dreams of Love Christian Stengel Franz Liszt
Le Beau Voyage The Beautiful Trip Louis Cuny Richard

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  1. 1 2 "Pierre Richard-Willm" at Ciné-Ressources. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  2. "Euskadiko Filmategia". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  3. Pierre Richard-Willm. Loin des étoiles. Paris: Belfond, 1975. p. 14, p. 39.
  4. Entry for Richard-Willm at Sports-reference.com; archived at the Wayback Machine, 17 April 2020.
  5. "Pierre Richard-Willm". Olympedia. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  6. 1 2 "Pierre Richard-Willm" in Encyclopædia Universalis. Archived at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  7. Dictionnaire du cinéma français, ed. by Jean-Loup Passek. Paris: Larousse, 1987. p. 356.
  8. Pierre Richard-Willm. Loin des étoiles. Paris: Belfond, 1975. pp. 238ff; p. 315.
  9. "Pierre Richard-Willm" at Théâtre du Peuple, Bussang. Archived at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  10. Pierre Richard-Willm. Loin des étoiles. Paris: Belfond, 1975. p. 312.