At the de Funès family, we of course know the father, Louis: hilarious, brilliant and transgenerational. We know a little about his youngest son, Olivier: normal, he played in several films with his father (Hibernatus or Les Grandes vacances) before becoming an airline pilot. We finally got to know Patrick, who is celebrating his 80th birthday this January 27. After a life in the shadow of his father and a career as a radiologist, he rose to fame by writing a book about his famous father and participating in “Grosses têtes” on RTL, Philippe Bouvard era. In 2005, Patrick and Olivier were guests of Thierry Ardisson in “Everybody talks about it” - available on the INA Arditube channel - to discuss the hero of La Grande Vadrouille.
The life of Louis de Funès was not a long, quiet river. Born in 1914, he earned his living by playing the piano. One evening during the occupation, in a jazz club, a German officer flirts with a woman that de Funès does not know. To protect her, he gets up and says to the officer: “I am her fiancé.” The German moves on. “He benefited from a privilege: he was a pianist. The Germans, it’s very curious, revered musicians,” explains Patrick de Funès. The actor will end up marrying the young woman. They will have Patrick and Olivier together.
Favorite comedian of the French, funny on stage, Louis de Funès is not a gay guy in the city. “These kinds of people are not fun to be around every day. They are anxious people. He was chasing me on the phone. He was a bit of a candy breaker, says the eldest son. He imitated me all the time. When I woke up, when I was always in a bad mood, when I was bad-tempered.”
When he dies, the two children discover secrets. “He had annuities. He paid people crazy amounts of money every month. Some we knew, others we didn't. Like the widow of a director... who had never had it filmed,” laughs Patrick de Funès.
An extract to discover: