Jean-Louis Barrault

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Jean-Louis Barrault
BirthplaceLe Vésinet, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France

Barrault, Jean-Louis

(zhäN-lwē bärō`), 1910–94, French actor and director. A pupil of Charles Dullin, he joined the Comédie Française in 1940. After World War II he organized his own company at the Théâtre Marigny with his wife, actress Madeleine Renaud. Barrault's precise, imaginative physical style was influenced by his study of mime. He is best remembered for his Hamlet and as the mime in Marcel Carné's film Children of Paradise (1944).


See his autobiography Memories for Tomorrow (tr. 1974). His other writings include Reflections on the Theatre (tr. 1951) and The Theatre of Jean-Louis Barrault (tr. 1961).

Barrault, Jean-Louis


Born Sept. 8, 1910, in Le Vés-inet, Seine-et-Oise Department. French actor and director.

Barrault studied painting at the Louvre School in Paris. In 1931 he entered the Atelier dramatic theater, which was headed by the director C. Dullin. At the same time Barrault studied the art of pantomime under the actor E. Decroux. From 1940 to 1946 he worked at the Comédie Française, where he staged Racine’s Phèdre (1952), Claudel’s The Satin Slipper (1943), and Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (1945). In 1946, Barrault and his wife, the actress M. Renaud, founded their own company and put on Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1946), Salacrou’s Nights of Anger (1946), Kafka’s The Trial (1947), and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (1954).

Barrault has played the roles of Debureau (in Prévert’s Baptiste), Mercury and Scapin (in Moliére’s Amphitryon and Scapin’s Knavery), and Trofimov (in The Cherry Orchard). From 1959 to 1968 he was the head of the Theatre de France (in Paris) and staged Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Anouilh’s Moliere’s Little Woman, Beckett’s Happy Days, and others.

Barrault is one of the greatest contemporary French actors and directors. He is the author of Reflections on the Theater (1949). Since 1935 he has acted in films (The Children of Paradise, An Amusing Drama, and others).


Réflexions sur le theatre, Paris, 1949.


Salacrou, A. “Portrait de J.-L. Barrault.” Formes et couleurs, Lausanne, 1947, no. 5.
Triolet, E. “Zhan-Lui Barro.” Teatr, 1956, no. 4.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although only one of Artaud's plays, Les Cenci (1935), based on works by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Stendhal, was ever produced to illustrate these theories, his ideas influenced the productions of Jean-Louis Barrault, Jerzy Grotowski, Jean Vilar, and The Living Theatre as well as the work of such playwrights as Arthur Adamov, Jean Genet, and Jacques Audiberti.
Acclaimed by directors, producers, and theater impresarios such as Joseph Chaikin, Edward Albee, Jean-Louis Barrault, and the late Joseph Papp, her works have also been the source of praise and admiration by veteran actors and actresses such as Moses Gunn, Gloria Foster, Colleen Dewhurst, and James Earl Jones.
Appropriating aspects of both Charles Chaplin's Tramp and Pip in Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations, Marceau's Bip borrowed the whiteface of the 19th-century French character Pierrot, whom the actor jean-Louis Barrault had re-created in the 1945 film Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise), which itself was partially based on the life of Jean-Gaspard Deburau, the greatest French mime of the 19th century.
Conocio y convivio con muchos de ellos: Jean-Louis Barrault, Jean Wahl, Allan Bloom, Giorgio Santillana, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir .
Jean-Louis Barrault, the great French actor/director, asked Paul to perform at his Festival of Nations in the Odeon Theater in Paris.
En Paris, por las fechas de la Exposicion Universal, en abril de 1937, Jean-Louis Barrault monto por primera vez la Numancia, de Cervantes, con la escenografia de Andre Masson, el amigo de Leiris que ilustrara el Espejo de la Tauromaquia.
Brody, his soulful eyes and gaunt frame reminiscent more of such great classical European stars as Jean-Louis Barrault, Gerard Philippe and Vittorio Gassman than of any current American thesps, is terrifically engaging and charismatic as Chris.
Invitado por el mismisimo Louis Jouvet, Arreola estudio durante algunos meses con el y con Jean-Louis Barrault y esto le basto para formar parte del elenco de Antonio y Cleopatra, de William Shakespeare (supongo que bajo la direccion de Jouvet).
Lo que puedo contar con todo detalle es la aventura que vino despues: el viaje a Paris, a fines de 1945, para "estudiar teatro" con Louis Jouvet y Jean-Louis Barrault.
Marceau's mime has been influenced not simply by the classic mime of Jean-Gaspard Deburau, as realized by his teacher, Etienne Decroux, and Decroux's improvisatory collaborator, actor Jean-Louis Barrault, but also by the great silent cinema pantomimists such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harry Langdon.
Bajo estas influencias, la escritura escenica de los anos setenta fue una escritura fisica, concreta, corporea, al punto de generar una corriente, eminentemente visual, que, apoyada por la experimentacion previa de Jean-Louis Barrault, Etienne Decroux, Jacques Lecoq, entre muchos otros, sigue su propio desarrollo y se denomina en algunas latitudes como Teatro del Gesto o Teatro Corporal.
Jean Cocteau composed the first of these international missives in 1962, and they have been authored in the years since by Arthur Miller, Laurence Olivier, Jean-Louis Barrault, Peter Brook, Ellen Stewart, Eugene Ionesco, Edward Albee, Wole Soyinka, Vaclav Havel and a dozen others.