- Brel, Jacques
- (April 8, 1929, Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium-October 9, 1978, Bobigny, Seine-Saint-Denis, France)Of Flemish descent, he was the son of the co-owner of a cardboard factory. One of the most talented French-speaking songwriter-singers, he started out in Brussels cabarets in 1952. The following year, he settled in France, where he dedicated himself to a singing career until 1966. Then he switched to cinema, starring in ten films, including the two he directed (1967 Les Risques du Métier, André Cayatte; 1968 La Bande à Bonnot / La banda bonnot, also composer, Philippe Fourastié, France / Italy; 1969 Mon Oncle Benjamin / Mio zio Beniamino / UK: The Adventures of Uncle Benjamin / USA: My Uncle Benjamin, also composer, Edouard Molinaro, France / Italy; 1970 Mont-Dragon, Jean Valère; 1971 Les Assassins de l'Ordre / Inchiesta su un delitto della polizia / UK and USA: Law Breakers, Marcel Carné, France / Italy; 1972 L'Aventure, c'est l'Aventure / L'avventura è l'avventura / UK and USA: Money Money Money, Claude Lelouch, France / Italy; Le Bar de la Fourche, also composer, Alain Levent; 1973 L'Emmerdeur / Il romoballe / UK and USA: A Pain in the A. . . , Edouard Molinaro, France / Italy). He already had performed in a Belgian short (1956 La Grande Peur de Monsieur Clément, Paul Diebens). In 1973, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. After completing treatment for his illness, he settled on the Marquesas Islands, where he died and was buried at age forty-nine. He co-wrote and briefly appeared as himself in Jacques Brel Is Well and Alive and Living in Paris (Denis Héroux, Canada / France, 1975) and had recorded his last album in 1977. His songs were interpreted by such famous British and American singers as Scott Walker, Judy Collins, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, and Nina Simone. Frédéric Rossif directed an archival documentary on him in 1982 (Jacques Brel). Other credits (as composer, songwriter): 1960 Le Panier à Crabes (Joseph Lisbona); Le Petit Jour (short, songs only, Jacques Pierre); 1963 Un Roi sans Divertissement (co-composer only, François Leterrier); 1967 Un Idiot à Paris (song only, Serge Korber); 1969 Tintin et le Temple du Soleil (animation, songs only, Raymond Leblanc, Belgium).Filmography◘ Franz (also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, actor, composer; France / Belgium)◘ Le Far West (also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, actor, composer; France / Belgium)
Encyclopedia of French film directors . Philippe Rège. 2011.