Daniel Gélin

Daniel Gélin

Born Daniel Yves Alfred Gélin
(1921-05-19)19 May 1921
Angers, Maine-et-Loire
Died 29 November 2002(2002-11-29) (aged 81)
Paris, France
Cause of death Kidney failure

Daniel Yves Alfred Gélin (19 May 1921 – 29 November 2002) was a French actor.

Early life

Gélin was born in Angers, Maine-et-Loire, the son of Yvonne (Le Méner) and Alfred Ernest Joseph Gélin.[1][2][3] When he was ten, his family moved to Saint-Malo where Daniel went to college until he was expelled for 'uncouthness'. His father then found him a job in a shop that sold cans of salted cod. It was seeing the shooting of Marc Allegret's film Entree des artistes that triggered his desire to go to Paris to train to be an actor. He trained at the Cours Simon in Paris before entering the Conservatoire national d'art dramatique. There he met Louis Jouvet and embarked on a theatrical career. He made his first film appearance in 1940 in Miquette and for several years was an extra or played small roles in French films. He appeared with Jean Gabin and Marlene Dietrich in Martin Roumagnac (1946).


He won his first leading role in Rendez-vous de juillet (1949). From that time, he went on to appear in more than 150 films, including Max Ophüls' films La Ronde (1950) and Le Plaisir (1952), Sacha Guitry's films Si Versailles m'était conté (Royal Affairs in Versailles) (1954) and Napoléon (1955), Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Jean Cocteau's Le Testament d'Orphée (1960), Le souffle au cœur (Murmur of the Heart) (1971), and La Nuit de Varennes (That Night in Varennes) (1982). He also wrote and directed one film, The Long Teeth, in 1952.

Gélin was a leading man in French cinema during the 1950s, but his career declined with the coming of the New Wave. He worked in theater for several years, but later found new success on screen as a character actor. He appeared extensively in French films and television productions from the 1970s until his death, often playing cynical characters or grumpy old men.[4]

Personal life

While married to Danièle Delorme with whom he had a son, Xavier, he had an affair with model Marie Christine Schneider that produced a daughter, Maria Schneider.[5] However, Gélin refused to acknowledge Maria throughout his life.[6] Gélin also had a daughter, Bénédicte from a later marriage.


Gélin died in Paris on November 29, 2002, of kidney failure.

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director
1940 Miquette Jean Boyer
1941 Premier rendez-vous Monsieur Chauveau-Laplace Henri Decoin
1942 The Murderer Lives at Number 21 a policeman Henri-Georges Clouzot
1945 The Temptation of Barbizon Michel Jean Stelli
1946 Martin Roumagnac an employe at the college Georges Lacombe
1949 Rendezvous in July Lucien Bonnard Jacques Becker
1950 Dieu a besoin des hommes Joseph Le Berre Jean Delannoy
La Ronde Alfred Max Ophüls
Edward and Caroline Édouard Mortier Jacques Becker
1952 Adorables Créatures André Noblet Christian-Jaque
Le Plaisir (episode «Le Modèle») Jean, the young painter Max Ophüls
The Long Teeth Louis Commandeur Daniel Gélin himself
La Minute de vérité Daniel Prévost Jean Delannoy
Voice of Silence Francesco Ferro Georg Wilhelm Pabst
1953 Love in a Hot Climate Ricardo Garcia Georges Rouquier and Munoz Suay
Royal Affairs in Versailles Jean Collinet Sacha Guitry
The Slave Michel Landa Yves Ciampi
1954 The Lovers of Lisbon Pierre Roubier Henri Verneuil
L'affaire Maurizius Léonard Maurizius Julien Duvivier
Woman of Rome Mino Luigi Zampa
Napoléon Napoleon (as a young man) Sacha Guitry
1955 Maid in Paris Antoine du Merlet Pierre Gaspard-Huit
1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much Louis Bernard Alfred Hitchcock
Bonsoir Paris, bonjour l'amour Georges Bernier Ralph Baum
1957 Retour de manivelle Robert Montillon Denys de La Patellière
1959 Carthage in Flames Phégor Carmine Gallone
Testament of Orpheus the intern Jean Cocteau
1961 Prey for the Shadows Eric Kraemmer Alexandre Astruc
1963 Three Girls in Paris Raymond Gabriel Axel
1965 The Sleeping Car Murders the veterinary Constantin Costa-Gavras
1966 Zeugin aus der Hölle Bora Petrović Žika Mitrović
Zwei Girls vom Roten Stern Ballard Sammy Drechsel
Line of Demarcation Doctor Lafage Claude Chabrol
À belles dents Bernard Pierre Gaspard-Huit
Is Paris Burning? Yves Bayet René Clément
1969 Slogan Evelyne's father Pierre Grimblat
1971 Murmur of the Heart Charles Chevalier Louis Malle
1974 Dialogues of Exiles - Raoul Ruiz
Un linceul n'a pas de poches Laurence Jean-Pierre Mocky
1977 Nous irons tous au paradis Bastien Yves Robert
The Suspended Vocation Malagrida Raoul Ruiz
1981 Peacetime in Paris
1982 That Night in Varennes Monsieur de Wendel Ettore Scola
1984 Les Enfants Enrico Marguerite Duras
1986 Killing Cars Kellermann Michael Verhoeven
1986 Via Monte Napoleone Elena's father Carlo Vanzina
1987 Life Is a Long Quiet River Le docteur Mavial Étienne Chatiliez
1988 Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté Pierrot Duvivier Claude Lelouch
1990 Mister Frost Simon Scolari Philippe Setbon
1991 Les secrets professionnels du Dr Apfelglück Roland Grumaud
1994 La Cité de la peur Monsieur Mireille Alain Berbérian
1996 Hommes, femmes, mode d'emploi the widower Claude Lelouch
1997 Obsession Xavier Fabre Peter Sehr


  1. "Daniel Gelin : biographie". OverBlog. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  2. "Daniel GÉLIN". Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  3. "Daniel Yves Alfred Gelin - Arbre généalogique Henri FREBAULT - Geneanet". Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  4. Daniel Gélin, Bibliothèque du film
  5. David Thomson. A Biographical Dictionary of Film. Andre Deutsch.
  6. "L'actrice française Maria Schneider est décédée". ozap.com. Retrieved 23 September 2014.

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