Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


real name Fernand Joseph D?sir? Contandin. 1903--71, French comic film actor
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(stage name of Fernan-Joseph-Désiré Contandin). Born May 8, 1903, in Marseille; died Feb. 26, 1971, in Paris. French film actor.

After beginning his career on the variety stage, appearing in music-hall revues and operettas, Fernandel first performed in films in the early 1930’s. He acted in numerous motion pictures (not all of which are artistically significant), playing the comic role of a charming simpleton, a dauntless loser. Outright slapstick characterized most of his films, including Squadron Fun (1932) and Casimir (1950). In a number of films, however, Fernandel was attracted to dramatic, psychologically complex roles, for example, in The Dance Card (1937), Topaz (1950), The Law Is the Law (1958), and The Devil and the Ten Commandments (1962).

Fernandel’s humor is closely linked with traditional French theater, especially the farce and fair theater, as well as with the folk types of Provence.


Chernenko, M. Fernandel’. Moscow, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(3) After his first novels, Le cose non sono le cose (Ravenna: Fernandel, 1999) and Bassotuba non c'e (Rome: Derive Approdi, 1999; Einaudi, 2000), Paolo Nori moved to Einaudi, Stile Libero for his series on Learco Ferrari--Spinoza (2000), Diavoli (2001), Grandi ustionati (2001), Si chiama Francesca, questo romanzo (2002), and later to Feltrinelli with Gli scarti (2003), Pancetta (2004), and Ente nazionale della cinematografia popolare (2005).
The exquisite elegance of Proust is certainly valid for its formal beauty as well as its emotional and intellectual truths; but the Provencal dialect of Pagnol, especially when spoken by Fernandel, testifies to another nation which is also France.
He read Balzac, Jules Verne, George Sand, and Madame Bovary; he listened to Georges Brassens, Edith Piaf, Michel Polnareff; he watched French movies (Serge Regiani, Bourvil, Fernandel, Jean Gabin); he amused himself buying Paris Match--and he did all this without direct acquaintance either with any of their Arabic equivalents or of France.
He invites her that evening to a film, a comedy starring Fernandel. This begins a liaison that continues over the summer.
Otherwise, the films and musical selections presented are fairly representative of what one might expect from films of the era, embracing Renoir as much as Fernandel.
In his 1980's essay on Marseille(chkd), immortalised by Marcel Pagnol through his creations, Fanny, Marius and Cesar (chkd) and, of course, the film actors Fernandel and Raimu, Cobb wrote that the Marseille once depicted in Duvivier's film Carnet de Bal (chkd) is about as remote today as the Paris of Rene Clair.
Cayatte, 1942) to the Fernandel vehicle Simplet (Fernandel, 1942), the fantasy La symphonie fantastique (M.
The character also figured in a series of successful French-language films (1950s and '60s) starring the French comic actor Fernandel.
Upon hearing his name, Wang immediately rose and, with his characteristic Fernandel smile, turned and bowed to thank the speaker, who was obviously addressing him.
En tant que comedien, il a partage des roles aux cotes des tenors du grand ecran francais tels Fernandel, Gabin, Raimu, Viviane Romance- pour finir comme un brillant realisateur ayant a son actif une filmographie riche et variee (Constantine, serenade a Meriem, Les plongeurs du desert, Aux Portes du Sahara-).