There is no advantage under the sun.

Kohelet 2:11

Yves Montand (Ivo Livi) - biography

Yves Montand (French pronunciation: [iv mɔ̃ˈtɑ̃]; 13 October 1921 – 9 November 1991) was an Italian-born French actor and singer.


Early life

Montand was born Ivo Livi in Monsummano Terme, Italy, the son of poor peasants Giuseppina (née Simoni) and Giovanni Livi, a broommaker. Montand's mother was a devout Catholic, while his father held strong Communist beliefs. Because of the Fascist regime in Italy, Montand's family left for France in 1923. He grew up in Marseilles, where, as a young man, he worked in his sister's barber shop, and later on the docks. He began a career in show business as a music-hall singer. In 1944, he was discovered by Édith Piaf in Paris and she made him part of her act, becoming his mentor and lover.


Montand went on to international recognition as a singer and actor, starring in numerous films. His recognizably crooner songs, especially those about Paris, became instant classics.

He was one of the most famous performers at Bruno Coquatrix' famous Paris Olympia music hall.

In 1951, he married the actress Simone Signoret, and they co-starred in several films throughout their careers. The marriage was, by all accounts, fairly harmonious, lasting until her death in 1985, although Montand had a number of well-publicised affairs, notably with Marilyn Monroe, with whom he starred in one of her last films, Let's Make Love. During his career, Montand acted in a number of American motion pictures as well as on Broadway. He was nominated for a César Award for "Best Actor" in 1980 for "I comme Icare" and again in 1984 for "Garçon!"

In the French dubbings of Looney Tunes, the character Pepé Le Pew is an Italian skunk named "Pépé le putois". The voice characterization was often based on Montand's performances.

In 1986, after his international box-office draw power had fallen off considerably, the 65-year-old Montand gave one of his most memorable performances, as the scheming uncle in the two-part film: Jean de Florette, co-starring Gérard Depardieu, and Manon des Sources, co-starring Emmanuelle Béart. The film was a worldwide critical hit and raised Montand's profile in the U.S., where he made an appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman".

Personal life

Montand's only child, Valentin, his son by his second wife Carole Amiel, was born in 1988. In a paternity suit that rocked France, another woman accused Montand of being the father of her daughter and went to court to obtain a DNA sample from him. Montand refused, but the woman persisted after his death. In a court ruling that made international headlines, the woman won the right to have Montand exhumed and a sample taken. It subsequently showed that he was not the girl's father.

Montand embarked on an affair with Marilyn Monroe during filming of the ill fated film Let's Make Love. He had been personally recommended by Arthur Miller (who was married to Monroe) after Miller saw him acting in a foreign movie version of his play The Crucible called Les Sorcières de Salem. Montand always expressed regret over the affair as he considered Miller a "good friend".

In his later years he maintained a home in St Paul de Vence, Provence until his death.

Montand died from a heart attack. In an interview, Jean-Jacques Beineix said, "[H]e died on the set [of IP5: The Island of Pachyderms]... On the very last day, after his very last shot. It was the very last night and we were doing retakes. He finished what he was doing and then he just died. And the film tells the story of an old man who dies from a heart attack, which is the same thing that happened!"

He is buried next to Simone Signoret in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.


  • Les portes de la nuit (1946)
  • Paris Is Always Paris (1951)
  • Le salaire de la peur (1953)
  • A Slice of Life (1954)
  • Marguerite de la nuit (1955)
  • Les Sorcières de Salem (1956)
  • La Grande Strada Azzurra (1957)
  • Legge, La (1959)
  • Let's Make Love (1960)
  • Goodbye Again (1961)
  • My Geisha (1962)
  • Le Joli Mai de Chris Marker - Uniquement la narration (1963)
  • Compartiment tueurs (1965)
  • La guerre est finie (1966)
  • Is Paris Burning? (1966)
  • Grand Prix (1966)
  • Vivre pour vivre (1967)
  • Un soir, un train (1968)
  • Le Diable par le Queue (1969) (The Devil by the Tail)
  • Z (1969)
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)
  • Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
  • L'Aveu (1970)
  • La folie des grandeurs (1971)
  • Tout va bien (1972)
  • César et Rosalie (1972)
  • État de Siège (1973)
  • Vincent, François, les autres (1974)
  • Le Sauvage (1975)
  • Police Python 357 (1976)
  • The Big Operator (1976)
  • Le fond de l'air est rouge (1977)
  • La Menace (1977)
  • I as in Icarus (1979)
  • Choix des Armes (1981)
  • Garçon! (1983)
  • Jean de Florette (1986)
  • Manon des Sources (1986)
  • Netchaïev est de retour (1991)
  • IP5:L'île aux pachydermes (1992)


  • Olympia 81 (Philips)

Article author: Zipora Galitski
Article tags: biography
The article is about these people:   Yves Montand (Ivo Livi)

This information is published under GNU Free Document License (GFDL).
You should be logged in, in order to edit this article.


Please log in / register, to leave a comment

Welcome to JewAge!
Learn about the origins of your family