A prolific French actor, Pierre Brasseur appeared in more than 150 screen roles over the course of his decades-spanning career. Turning up in a few supporting parts during the 1920s, Brasseur hit his stride in the '30s, with roles in dozens of films, most notably Marcel Carné's moody drama "Port of Shadows," starring Jean Gabin. In 1945, Brasseur reunited with Carné for "Children of Paradise," a sweeping drama that also featured Jean-Louis Barrault and the famed actress Arletty. In the film, Brasseur portrays Frédérick Lemaître, a theater actor who vies for the love of a gorgeous and elusive woman (Arletty), placing him in a rivalry with Barrault's sensitive mime and others. Continuing their partnership, Brasseur and Carné also collaborated on the post-war mystery "Gates of the Night," with the actor eventually working with another prominent Gallic director, René Clair, on the Oscar-nominated drama "The Gates of Paris." In 1960, Brasseur appeared in one of his most famous roles, playing a demented surgeon and chillingly devoted father in the unsettling horror film "Eyes Without a Face." Although few of Brasseur's subsequent parts were as remarkable, his place in French cinema history was secured, with the actor going on to a handful of memorable supporting roles, particularly as the unhinged General Geranium in the '66 cult classic "King of Hearts." Brasseur's legacy is carried on in the acting careers of his son, Claude, and his grandson Alexandre.
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