Actor Christian Marquand, who appeared in more than 50 films and helmed two pics including 1968’s all-star satire “Candy,” died Nov. 22 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.
Born in Marseilles to a father of Arab origin and a Spanish mother, lanky young Marquand studied acting with Tania Balachova, and first made his mark onscreen in two enduring French classics: Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” in 1946 and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Quai des Orfevres” (Jenny Lamour) in 1947.
Marquand’s aptitude for languages facilitated an international career with performances in French, Spanish, Italian (including a bit part in Visconti’s “Senso,” 1954) and English. In 1956, he appeared in Roger Vadim’s trail-blazing “… And God Created Woman” with Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Louis Trintignant. (Marquand’s sister, director Nadine Trintignant, married the latter. Nadine and Christian’s brother Serge has also acted.)
Lesser fare included a starring role opposite Jean Seberg as the handsome older man — a sculptor who’s also a murderer — with whom she embarks on an affair in 1961’s “La Recreation” (Love Play, aka Playtime) directed by Seberg’s first husband, Francois Moreuil, and a lead opposite Robert Stack and Elke Sommer in 1966’s Asia-set action/adventure, “The Corrupt Ones.”
In 1963, Marquand married Maria-Christina Salomons, the daughter of well-known entertainers Jean-Pierre Aumont and “The Queen of Technicolor” Maria Montez. Salomons embarked on an acting career as Tina Aumont. Marquand later had a son by actress Dominique Sanda.
Heading to the U.S. in the mid-1960s, Marquand appeared in Robert Aldrich’s “Flight of the Phoenix,” Richard Brooks’ “Lord Jim” and later “Apocalypse Now.” Marquand also appeared in the screen adaptation of Sidney Sheldon’s “The Other Side of Midnight “(1977).
Thesp’s TV credits Stateside include such 1970s productions as “Beggarman, Thief” (1979), “Evening in Byzantium” (1978) and “Victory at Entebbe” (1976).
As director, Marquand packed a lot of symbolism and humor into the notorious “Candy.” A socio-sexual satire scripted by Buck Henry from Terry Southern’s put-on of a novel, pic was poorly received by American critics, but the U.S.-Italy-France co-production did OK internationally, thanks in part to one of the strangest casts ever assembled: Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, Charles Aznavour, James Coburn, John Huston, Ringo Star, John Astin, Sugar Ray Robinson, Walter Matthau and Ewa Aulin as the Candide-like title lass.
Marquand’s only other helming credit is 1962’s “Of Flesh and Blood” starring Robert Hossein and Anouk Aimee, which he also co-scripted.
Nadine Trintignant — who directed Marquand in her 1984 film “L’Ete prochain” (“Next Summer”) — recently published a moving account of her brother’s battle with amnesia and other complications of Alzheimers’, “Ton chapeau au vestiaire.” (Your Hat in the Cloakroom.)