(24 December 1887 - 16 August 1951) was a renowned French actor
, director, and theatre director
Overcoming speech impediments and sometimes paralyzing stage fright as a young man, Jouvet's first important association was with Jacques Copeau
's Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier
, beginning in 1913. Copeau's training included a varied and demanding schedule, regular exercise for agility and stamina, and pressing his cast and crew to invent theatrical effects in a bare-bones space. It was there Jouvet developed his considerable stagecraft skills, particularly makeup and lighting (he developed a kind of accent light named the jouvet
). These years included a successful tour to the United States.
While influential, Copeau's theater was never lucrative. Jouvet left in October 1922 for the Comédie des Champs-Élysées
(the small stage of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
). In December 1923 he staged his single most successful production, the satire Dr. Knock
, written by Jules Romains
. Jouvet's meticulous characterization of the manipulative crank doctor was informed by his own experience in pharmacy school. It became his signature and his standby; "Jouvet was to produce it almost every year until the end of his life".
Jouvet began an ongoing close collaboration with playwright Jean Giraudoux
in 1928, with a radical streamlining of Giraudoux's 1922 Siegfried et le......