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Jean-Pierre Aumont (1911–2001)

Author of Le soleil et les ombres

Includes the names: Jean-Pierre Aumont

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Jean-Pierre Philippe Salomons was born to a French Jewish family; his father was of Dutch-Jewish origin. His mother Suzanne was an actress and his brother François became a film writer/director. The young Jean-Pierre enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 16 and made his film debut in 1931. He began a long and acclaimed stage career in 1934. Under the name Jean-Pierre Aumont, the handsome, blue-eyed blond appeared opposite female stars such as Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux and Annabella. Early in World War II, Aumont served with the French army and earned the Croix de Guerre for his valor. In 1942, Aumont arrived in the USA barely able to speak English and only a few days later was "discovered" by stage legend Katharine Cornell, making his American debut in her production of the play "Rose Burke." During its Los Angeles engagement, he was signed by MGM for films and made his USA screen debut as Captain Pierre Matard in the espionage war picture "Assignment in Brittany" (1943). Aumont again interrupted his acting career to serve with Free French forces in North Africa and won the Legion of Honor after being wounded twice. He went back to Hollywood after the war, but then decided to return to live in France. He also began writing plays. Occasionally he returned to the USA to star in films or on Broadway. He worked with Mel Ferrer and Leslie Caron in MGM's touching musical Lili (1953), and performed on television in classic works such as "Arms and the Man" and "Crime and Punishment." In 1956, he married Marisa Pavan and had two sons, Jean-Claude (who also became an actor) and Patrick. His daughter from an earlier marriage to Maria Montez, Tina Aumont, also became an actress. Jean-Pierre Aumont got some of his best movie roles in the 1970s with the excellent Day for Night (1973) and Cat and Mouse (1975). He received an honorary César Award in 1992.
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