Serge Reggiani was an Italian-born French singer and actor. He was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy and moved to France with his parents at the age of eight.
After studying acting at the Conservatoire des arts cinématographiques, he was discovered by Jean Cocteau and appeared in the wartime production of Les Parents terribles. He then left Paris to join the French Resistance.
His first feature film was Les portes de la nuit, released in 1946. He went on to perform in 80 films in total, including Casque d'or, Les Misérables,Tutti a casa, Le Doulos, Il Gattopardo, La terrazza, The Pianist.
Reggiani also triumphed in the theatre in 1959 with his performance in Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Les Séquestrés d'Altona.
In 1965, at the age of 43, he began a second career as a singer, with the help of Simone Signoret and her husband Yves Montand, and later with the assistance of the French singer Barbara. Reggiani became one of the most acclaimed performers of French chanson and although he was in his 40s, his rugged image made him popular with both younger and older listeners. His best-known songs include Les loups sont entrés dans Paris and Sarah, the latter written by Georges Moustaki.
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