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Louis de Funès: the sad story of his eldest son Daniel, born from his first marriage

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Louis de Funès: the sad story of his eldest son Daniel, born from his first marriage
This Friday August 5, 2022, M6 is broadcasting a classic: “The gendarme is getting married”. A cult film starring the irreplaceable, unforgettable, incorrigible Louis de Funès. If the actor left us several years ago now, his loved ones continue to keep his memory alive. In particular by revealing certain aspects of his personality hitherto unknown to the general public. Like his role as a father, which has not always been easy to manage…

On January 27, 1983, struck down by a heart attack, Louis de Funès bowed out. France then lost one of its best ambassadors, an outstanding actor with a dizzying filmography as it is so flamboyant. Louis de Funès, the favorite actor of the French with comic power still unequaled, even years after his death. But behind the success and the costumes hid a man with a strong character, and a father caught in the crossfire…

A son kept apart for years

With his wife Jeanne, Louis de Funès had two boys: Patrick, born in 1944 and Olivier, born in 1949. This story, everyone, or almost, knows it well. But what the public has long ignored is the story of the actor’s eldest son, Daniel, born of his love affair with his first wife, Germaine Carroyer. Born in 1937, he was only two years old when his parents separated after only three years of marriage. Louis de Funès leaves to live his dreams of the big screen, mother and son stay together. When he remarries with Jeanne, tensions are heightened. In 2011, in his book “Louis de Funès, L’oscar du cinema”, Daniel looked back on his childhood like no other, and on this often absent father. “He lived not far from our apartment. And one day, passing in front of our house, he raised his head while I was on the balcony. He went up” he detailed in the columns of Gala.

“Louis came to see me in secret. He brought me record players to listen to jazz. Without ever having taken any lessons, he was an outstanding pianist, an excellent dancer and a skilful designer. He probably gave me this side artist.” A complicit relationship… but almost secret. Out of the question that we know more about this first child, the eldest of all. So much so that in 1983, when his father gave his last breath, Daniel de Funès learned the terrible news… on the radio. “I was not notified or invited to the funeral. It hurt me! Louis left me nothing. It doesn’t matter! I still managed to lead the life I wanted”, he confided to Gala, while specifying that he had never seen his two half-brothers Olivier and Patrick again. Daniel de Funès passed away on January 23, 2017 at the age of 79.

A “very authoritarian” dad

As for the two other sons of Louis de Funès, their childhood was very different. In 2013, it was in a book called “Don’t talk too much about me, children!” that Patrick and Olivier de Funès told their memories with their famous dad. With their mother, Jeanne, and the actor, they lived to the rhythm of the flamboyant life of the actor, who still always found the time to watch over his sons. “He was a very authoritarian father, very present. Too much, even. He was boring. He got involved in everything, closely followed my medical studies”, told Patrick de Funès in the columns of Parisian.

Video. Louis de Funès, “very authoritarian” father: the heartbreaking confessions of his son Patrick

In Olivier, his youngest son, Louis de Funès saw a career on the big screen, like his. And all means were good to achieve his ends. In 1970, in Serge Korber’s film, “The Orchestra Man”, he did not hesitate to add a drum scene so that his son, who knew how to play it, appeared on the screen. In total, Olivier will shoot six films alongside his father. But his happiness is in a career as an airline pilot that he will find it a few years later. At Parisian, Patrick and Olivier had thus returned to the real Louis de Funès, the one who was politically “very right”: “If he got along very well with Bourvil, he did not like either Yves Montand or his positions . On La Folie des grandeurs, his great happiness was to have dinner with Gérard Oury… without Yves Montand.”

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