Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy 85th Birthday Pierre Brice

Pierre Louis Baron de Bris was born on February 6, 1929 in Brest, Brittany, France. When he was 19, Brice enlisted in the French Army and fought in the First Indochina War. Later he served as a paratrooper during the Algerian War. From 1962 to 1968 he acted in a total of eleven West German Karl May Westerns movies, in which he played the fictional Indian chief Winnetou of the Mescalero Apache tribe, alongside Lex Barker, Stewart Granger and Rod Cameron as the white heroes. After the films he also played this role at the Karl May Festspiele in Elspe from 1977 to 1980 and 1982 to 1986 and at the Karl May Festival in Bad Segeberg open-air theatre, Germany, from 1988 to 1991; he also worked there until 1999 as director of several open-air theatre productions.

Besides theatre productions, he was mainly seen in TV-series, including ‘Ein Schloss am Wörthersee’ and ‘Die Hütte am See’. In 1979 Brice again played Winnetou in a 14-part TV series called ‘Mein Freund Winnetou’, which did not originate from Karl May material. In 1997 he appeared in a two-part TV mini-series "Winnetous Rückkehr". Again, this did not originate from writings by Karl May.
Pierre Brice tried to escape the Winnetou character in a 1976 TV series, ‘Die Mädchen aus dem Weltraum’, and in several movies for the big screen, playing Zorro in the Italian "Zorro contro Maciste" (1963). He also worked with Terence Hill in "Schüsse im Dreivierteltakt" (1965), with Lex Barker in a non-Karl May film "A Place Called Glory City" (1965) and in the anthology "Gern hab' ich die Frauen gekillt" (1966). Stewart Granger, Lex Barker and Pierre Brice finally worked together in one movie – but for some reason, the actors did not share a single scene in the film.
Pierre Brice recovered some audience in France with TV series ‘Le Dessous du ciel’ (1974) alongside Marie-Georges Pasca and ‘Orages d'été’ with Annie Girardot (1989). Pierre’s last appearance was a Nicolas in the 2009 TV series ‘Kreuzfahrt ins Glück’.
Today we celebrate Pierre Brice’s 85th birthday.

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