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Jean Marais
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Actor
    (December 11, 1913-November 8, 1998)
    Born in Cherbourg, France
    Appeared in over 85 films
    Best known for starring in the Jean Cocteau films 'Beauty and the Beast' (1946) and 'Orpheus' (1948)
    He was expelled from school after dressing as a girl and flirting with one of the teachers to amuse his friends.
    After he was rejected by drama school, he supported himself as a photographer's assistant and golf caddy.
    He claimed that he tried to join the French Resistance but was turned down because of his homosexuality. (And more relevantly, because of his inability to keep a secret.)
    He plotted to kill a critic who dissed Cocteau and was dissuaded only by his horoscope.
    His father abandoned the family and his mother was a kleptomaniac shoplifter who was often in jail, leaving him and his brother alone for long stretches of time while growing up.
    He helped Cocteau overcome his opium addiction.
    After the liberation of Paris, he joined the 2nd Armored Division as a truck driver, carrying fuel and ammo to the front.
    He did his own stunts in films.
    He had a successful second career as a sculptor.
    He received the Legion of Honor (1996).
    He quipped, 'Life is unfair. I got nothing but the best.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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