Ticky Holgado

Cesar-nommed thesp

Cesar-nommed thesp Ticky Holgado, considered one of France’s great supporting actors, died Thursday Jan. 22 of cancer in Paris. He was 59.

French Culture Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon paid homage to Holgado, calling him “a remarkable comedian and certainly one of the most lovable figures in French cinema.”

Holgado, who played in more than 60 films, including pics by such helmers as Claude Berri, Claude Zidi, Patrice Leconte, Claude Lelouch, Henri Verneuil, Edouard Molinaro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, was in the midst of shooting “Les Parisiennes,” the first of Lelouch’s “Le Genre Human” trilogy.

Lelouch, who had known for two years that Holgado was ill, had two working versions of the film, one with and one without the thesp. Yet while Holgado was unable to finish shooting his part, Lelouch intends to keep the thesp in the film and dedicate it to Holgado.

Born in Toulouse, Holgado came to Paris in the 1960s. There he started his showbiz career as secretary to Gallic singer Claude Francois and then to singer Johnny Hallyday.

He also tried his own hand at music, first as a solo rocker under the name Ricky James and then with a group called the Oc d’Ail. He released an album in 2001 with his band the Clapshooters.

In 1981, he landed his first cinematic role thanks to director Max Pecas, who cast him as a gangster in “Belles, blondes et bronzees.” His singularly expressive face was subsequently noticed by comedic helmers such as Zidi, who hired him to play in “Les Ripoux” (1984), and Leconte, who cast him in “Le Mari de la coiffeuse” (1990). In 1986, he appeared in Berri’s “Manon of the Spring.”

It wasn’t until 1991, in his role in “Delicatessen,” helmed by Jeunet and Marc Caro, that his talent as a comedian was given critical attention. The same year, director Gerard Jugnot wrote the role of Crayon in “Wonderful Times” especially for Holgado, who drew a Cesar nomination for supporting actor in 1992.

Some of Holgado’s most recent films include Jeunet’s “Amelie,” Lelouch’s “And Now … Ladies and Gentlemen,” Jugnot’s “Monsieur Batignole” and Francis Veber’s recently released “Tais-toi.” He also recently finished lensing Jeunet’s upcoming “A Very Long Engagement.”

Survivor information wasn’t available.

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