Friday, December 25, 2009
Remembering Fernand Gravey
Born Fernand Maurice Noël Mertens on December 25, 1905 in Brussels, Belgium, he was known as Fernad Gravet and Fernand Gravey to American movie-goers. He was the son of silent film actor Georges Mertens and actress Fernande Dépernay. He started acting at age five and was educated in England so he could speak French and English fluently.During World War I he served in the British Merchant Marine.He made his first film appearance in 1913 and appeared in his first American films in the late '30s with “The King and the Chorus Girl” (1937). He signed a contract with M-G-M and made several more films before returning to France just before World War II and fought in the French Secret Army and the Foreign Legion. He returned a war hero and appeared in French films during the 1950s. In the '60s he appeared in several English speaking films including “How to Steal a Million” and the Eurowestern “Guns for San Sebastian”. Gravey died on November 2, 1970 in Paris. Today we celebrate what would have been Fernand Gravey's 105th birthday.