Popular, prolific long-faced French comedian with an enormous, horsey grin who, through the expressive use of his hands, homely face and voice, became one of the most beloved film stars in France and...
Made a successful North American tour as a singer, culminating with a recital at Carnegie Hall
Paris revue debut as comedy singer at Concert Mayol
Worked as a bank teller, dock worker and clerk at father's wholesale grocery business while performing as an amateur comedian and cafe singer from the age of 10
Breakthrough role in "Le Rosier de Madame Husson/Mrs. Husson's Rosebush"
Formed Gafer, production company, with Jean Gabin
Film acting debut, "Le Blanc et le Noir"
Popular, prolific long-faced French comedian with an enormous, horsey grin who, through the expressive use of his hands, homely face and voice, became one of the most beloved film stars in France and appeared, often as innocent peasant characters, in almost 150 films. Although he first gained screen popularity with a serious role in Bernard Deschamps's "Le Rosier de Madame Husson" (1932), Fernandel was best known for his numerous comic portrayals, especially as the title character, an irascible Italian village priest, in the "Don Camillo" series.
mother, Henriette Manse
married April 1925 until his death in 1971; had three children together
His stage name "Fernandel" supposedly came from the nickname his wife's family gave him--"le Fernand d'Elle" (her Fernand)--when he was first courting her.
Member of the Legion of Honor, described in the citation as a "merchant of happiness".