Olivier Gourmet had one of the most euphonious names in show business since Benedict Cumberbatch, and it belied his Everyman appearance. But beneath his ordinary looks and black-framed glasses was an actor capable of great complexity and subtlety in his work. Gourmet was born in Namur, Belgium, and he grew up in the village of Mirwart, where his father traded cattle and ran a farm, and his mother was a hotel cook. Both parents had a strong work ethic, which they instilled in their son. (Eventually, Gourmet's wife took over the hotel his mother worked in.) At one point, Gourmet thought of being a sportswriter, but fell into acting by accident when he had to fill in for a friend in a school production. He loved being onstage, but his father didn't want his son to go into acting. Still, Gourmet applied for the Conservatoire royal de Liege, where he studied drama, and won a First Prize award. Gourmet moved to Paris, where he hooked up with Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardene, a filmmaking team who were also from Belgium. This was Gourmet's breakthrough as an actor, and they grew so close as a creative team that Olivier often called himself the third Dardene brother. The drama "La Promesse" (1996) put the team on the map, with Gourmet playing a man who took advantage of illegal immigrants. Next came "Rosetta" (1999), which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, "Le Fils" (2002), which won Gourmet the Best Actor award at Cannes, and "L'enfant" (2005), which won the Dardene Brothers the Palme d'Or for a second time. All of these films dealt with complex and difficult subjects, and Gourmet played characters that proved his versatility and depth.