When Men Were Men #6


Maurice Chevalier
from An Autographed Who's Who of the Screen, 1930
"I have been a carpenter, painted dolls in a doll factory, manufactured nails, and tried to become an acrobat. But somehow, as you say, I did not make good. When you fail at all else, you can always become an actor. My first real paying job as a singer came with the opportunity to sing at the Casino des Tourelles where I was paid three francs an evening. This I am pleased to say, was before the present state of exchange. Still, it was only 60 cents. After a few years and before I was twenty, I became the dancing partner of Mistinguett at the Follies Bergere. I entered the French Army during the War, was wounded and imprisoned in Germany. A friend and I escaped by passing ourselves off as Red Cross workers. I returned to the Paris stage, played in London with Elsie Janis, and after a few years reluctantly came to this country. I say reluctantly because I considered my accent a very bad handicap. I am married to Yvonne Vallee with whom I sang at the Empire in Paris. My favourite picture which I have made so far in this country is 'The Love Parade.' And although I wish to be very agreeable and very versatile in all I do, I will not compare the comparative merits of France and America, or the comparative beauty of French and American women. As for anything else, I am at your service, Mesdames et Messieurs."

2 comments:

swac said...

Some might say this could have been included under "They Were Collaboraters"...

Tom Sutpen said...

You know, early on in the 'They Were Collaborators' series I had an idea to include photos of people like Chevalier and Cocteau and Coco Chanel. In a way, you've beaten me to the joke, dammit.

(obligatory fist shaking towards the Canadian border)