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The actor Roland Bertin, great Frenchman, died at 93

The actor Roland Bertin, honorary member of the Comédie-Française, died on Monday February 19 at the age of 93.

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The actor Roland Bertin, great Frenchman, died at 93

The actor Roland Bertin, honorary member of the Comédie-Française, died on Monday February 19 at the age of 93. “I have just learned of the death of Roland Bertin, member and immense figure of our House,” greeted Eric Ruf in a press release on Tuesday. Roland, our Roland, the one whose Homeric and generous angers we so loved to imitate, the lips so greedy, the words so lofty and the demands so radical. He died slowly in his retirement home in Pont-l’Abbé in Brittany, in his sleep.”

In 2012, Roland Bertin again played Ben Jonson's facetious and sly Volpone under the direction of Nicolas Briançon, at the Théâtre de la Madeleine, in Paris. A first time, which he rejoiced with a childish smile. By the same author, he had already played The Alchemist, under the direction of André Steiger whom he admired. Born in Paris on November 16, 1930, the honorary member of the Comédie-Française readily confided that he had no regrets. This generous man who loved working in a group was spoiled. After taking classes with Alick Roussel, he founded his company, before participating with Jacques Fornier in the adventure of the Théâtre de Bourgogne, in Beaune, then in Dijon from 1980. Insatiable, he got into the habit of playing four to six pieces per year.

From Shakespeare, Goldoni, Chekhov, Marivaux, to Christopher Marlowe, René de Obaldia and Nathalie Sarraute. Roland Bertin blessed “all” of his “encounters” and was grateful to the directors who had trusted him: Roger Planchon, André Steiger, Georges Lavelli, Patrice Chéreau and Claude Régy.

In 1982, he joined the Comédie-Française. “ I started by playing in Les Corbeaux de Becque, directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent, with sublime partners: Denise Gence, Claude Winter, Yves Gasc, Pralon, Catherine Hiegel, Michel Aumont, Anne Consigny... J 'was very afraid', recounted Roland Bertin who, despite a long career, never got rid of a 'fierce fear'. “The only regret is saying to myself: I should have gone further. I would have loved to play Argan in The Imaginary Sick,” he said. From Molière, he will notably mark Dom Juan, directed by Jacques Lassalle, in 1993, with Andrzej Seweryn as an inveterate seducer and himself as Sganarelle.

He varies the pleasures, plays Mother Courage and her children, by Brecht, Le Balcon by Genet, Les Estivants by Gorky... Roland Bertin leaves the house of Molière after twenty years of good and loyal service in 2001, after The Marriage of Witold Gombrowicz. When this big man, of size and heart, looked back on his career, he considered himself very lucky. In 1990, Antoine Vitez, then administrator of the Comédie-Française, directed it in Brecht's The Life of Galileo. In 2009, he won the Molière for best supporting role for Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, directed by Christian Schiaretti. In 2011, Yves Beaunesne recruited him for We don't joke with love. “It’s the desire of others that makes you live,” said Roland Bertin. You have to be asked to move from one role to another. I have always followed, perhaps out of laziness... We rarely decide, except perhaps if we are a star. »

Not a star for a penny, the actor preferred to talk about the “wonderful actors” to whom he regularly played alongside while he had helped young actors like Thierry Hancisse in Amorphe d'Ottenburg, by Jean-Claude Grumberg, in 2000. From In the 1970s, cinema solicited Roland Bertin along with the greatest: Alain Resnais, Patrice Chéreau, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Costa-Gavras… On television, he distinguished himself in quality series: Les Misérables by Marcel Bluwal, Les Maîtres du pain, by Hervé Baslé, Rastignac ou les ambitious by Alain Tasma and, in 2010, The Haunted Armchair, in Tales and Stories of the 19th Century, directed by Claude Chabrol.

When he was not playing, Roland Bertin went to see his peers. In 2012, he was shocked by Ibsen's Peer Gynt, staged at the Grand Palais by Éric Ruf, with Hervé Pierre. The same year, he delighted in playing a cunning Volpone with childish looks alongside his former accomplices from the Comédie-Française, Yves Gasc and Nicolas Briançon.

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