Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Remembering Gil Delamare

Gil Delamare was born Gilbert-Yves Delamare de la Villenaise de Chénevarin on October 14, 1924 in Paris, Île-de-France, France. Law student, Gil at the age of 20 decides ro become a trapeze artist in a circus. Practicing skydiving, he would hold the co-world record free-fall (9509 meters). He also became a star of the film “L'Homme-oiseau” by Jacques Dubourg falling and drifting with painted wings. Delamare then started a career as a stuntman and became an unparalleled expert in special effects.
He setup sequences that have become memorable in cinema: the chase with pumpkins and Germans inLa Grande Vadrouille” (1966), the 2CV of Bourvil that breaks into pieces in “Le Corniaud” (1965), the good but Nutty sister flying in “Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez” (1964), doubling the American paratrooper (Red Buttons) hung on a facade of Sainte-Mère-Église in “The Longest Day” (1962) or the final anthology continued “Fantômas” (1964).
Among the films in which he appears in the credits as head of special effects include: “L'Homme de Rio” (1964), “Le Corniaud” (1964),Coplan casse tout” and “Fantômas se déchaine” (both 1965) and especially “La Grande Vadrouille” (1966), among other stuntmen like Roger Mailles and Gérard Streiff.
He was also in charge of stunts inComment voler un million de dollars” (1966) and “The Longest Day” (1962). As an actor, he was the partner of Gerard Philipe in “Fanfan la Tulipe” and Gina Lollobrigida in “Les Belles de nuit” (both 1952).
He was a character in comedies and one of the main protagonists of the serial of Michel Vaillant of Jean Graton The Daredevil (1964)
During the filming ofLe Saint prend l'affût” (1966) by Christian-Jaque, filmed on a portion of the Northern Highway then in construction, one of the scenes in which he doubled Jean Marais had a spin. Unfortunately, the new coating was too sticky. It would have been impossible to cover the gravel roadway to facilitate slippage of the Renault Floride S convertible that Gil had to drive, but it was too light colored and would be seen. With time pressing, Gil Delamare nevertheless decided to continue with the stunt Gaston Woignez and Odile Astier at his side. Around 5:50 p.m., the car, instead of sliding, an arm on the rear axle broke and threw the car into some barrels, ejecting passengers and trapping Gil, killing him.
Gil appeared in one Euro-western “Texas Serenade (1966) in the role of Harry.
Today we remember Gil Delamare on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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