Jean-Pierre Aumont

Jean-Pierre Aumont

Jean-Pierre Aumont in 1959
Born Jean-Pierre Philippe Salomons
(1911-01-05)5 January 1911
Paris, France
Died 30 January 2001(2001-01-30) (aged 90)
Gassin, France
Occupation Actor
Years active 19311996
Spouse(s) Blanche Montel (1938–1940; divorced)
Maria Montez (1943–1951; her death; 1 child)
Marisa Pavan (1956–2001; his death; 2 children)

Jean-Pierre Aumont (5 January 1911 – 30 January 2001) was a French actor, and holder of the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre for his World War II military service.

Early life

Aumont was born Jean-Pierre Philippe Salomons in Paris, the son of Suzanne (née Cahen; 1885–1940), an actress, and Alexandre Salomons, owner of La Maison du Blanc (a linen department store). His mother's uncle was well-known stage actor George Berr (died 1942).[1] His father was from a Dutch Jewish family; his mother's family were French Jews.[2] Aumont's younger brother was the noted French film director François Villiers. Aumont began studying drama at the Paris Conservatory at age 16; his mother had also studied there. His professional stage debut occurred at the age of 21. His film debut came one year later, when Jean de la Lune (Jean of the Moon) was produced in 1931.


However, his most important, career-defining role came in 1934, when Jean Cocteau's play, La Machine infernale (The Infernal Machine), was staged. While his film and stage career began rising quickly, World War II broke out. Aumont remained in France until 1942, when he realized that as a Jew he would have to flee the Nazis. He migrated from the unoccupied zone of France Vichy, to New York City, then to Hollywood to pursue his film career. He began working with MGM; however, after finishing The Cross of Lorraine, he joined the Free French Forces. He was sent to North Africa, where he participated in Operation Torch in Tunisia. He moved with the Allied armies through Italy and France. During the war, he was wounded twice. The first was on a mission with his brother; the second was more serious. Aumont's Jeep was blown up near a land-mined bridge. General Diego Brosset, commander of the 1st Free French Division, to whom Aumont was aide de camp, was killed.[3] For his bravery during the fighting, Aumont received the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre.[4]

After the war, Aumont quickly resumed his movie career, starring opposite Ginger Rogers in Heartbeat (1946), and as the magician in the classic film Lili (1953) with Leslie Caron, among many other roles. He worked with a number of prominent directors and stars, including his (then) wife Maria Montez. In the mid-1950s, Aumont began working in the new medium of television, appearing on several anthology programs, such as "Robert Montgomery Presents" and as a guest on the show What's My Line?. In the 1960s and 1970s, he appeared in various theater productions, including the musicals Tovarich with Vivien Leigh, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, South Pacific, and Gigi.

One of his last acting performances was in A Tale of Two Cities (1989). Two years later, in 1991, aged 80, he received an honorary César Award as well as being decorated with the cross of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.[5]

Personal life

Pavan and Aumont in 1965.

Aumont was married four times to three women. His first wife was French actress Blanche Montel, to whom he was married for two years (1938-1940), ultimately divorcing. While in Hollywood, Aumont married Maria Montez, a Dominican actress. She was known as the Queen of Technicolor, and their marriage was very happy. However, Montez drowned in her bathtub on 7 September 1951 after suffering an apparent heart attack at the family's Suresnes villa. Montez and Aumont had one child, a daughter, Tina (1946 – 2006).

In 1956, Aumont married Italian actress Marisa Pavan. The couple starred in one film together, John Paul Jones (1959), in which Pavan played the romantic interest of the lead, while Aumont appears as King Louis XVI. They divorced, but later remarried and remained together until his death at age 90 in 2001. Aumont and Pavan had two sons, Jean-Claude and Patrick.[6][7]


Jean-Pierre Aumont died in 2001 of a heart attack in Gassin, France, aged 90, and was cremated.

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director
1931 Échec et mat Jacques Roger Goupillières
1933 Dans les rues Jacques Victor Trivas
1937 Bizarre, Bizarre Billy Marcel Carné
1938 Hôtel du Nord Pierre Marcel Carné
S.O.S. Sahara Paul Moutier Jacques de Baroncelli
1943 Assignment in Brittany Bertrand Corlay/Capt. Pierre Matard (as Pierre Aumont) Jack Conway
1943 The Cross of Lorraine Paul Dupré (as Jean Pierre Aumont) Tay Garnett
1946 Heartbeat Pierre de Roche (as Jean Pierre Aumont) Sam Wood
1947 Song of Scheherazade Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Walter Reisch
1948 Affairs of a Rogue Prince Leopold Alberto Cavalcanti
1949 Siren of Atlantis Andre St. Avit Gregg G. Tallas
Golden Arrow Andre Marchand Gordon Parry
1951 La Vendetta del corsaro Enrico di Roccabruna Primo Zeglio
The Straw Lover Stanislas Michodier Gilles Grangier
1952 Moineaux of Paris Césarin Maurice Cloche
Wolves Hunt at Night Cyril Bernard Borderie
1953 Lili Marc (as Jean Pierre Aumont) Charles Walters
1954 Charge of the Lancers Capt. Eric Evoir William Castle
Royal Affairs in Versailles Cardinal de Rohan Sacha Guitry
1955 Napoléon Régnault de Saint-Jean d'Angély Sacha Guitry
1956 Hilda Crane Prof. Jacques De Lisle Philip Dunne
1957 The Seventh Sin Paul Duvelle Ronald Neame
1959 John Paul Jones King Louis XVI of France John Farrow
1961 Le Puits aux trois vérités a spectator at the vernissage François Villiers
The Blonde from Buenos Aires the Actor George Cahan
The Devil at 4 O'Clock Jacques (as Jean Pierre Aumont) Mervyn LeRoy
1962 The Seven Deadly Sins the husband (episode "L'Orgueuil") Roger Vadim (episode)
Five Miles to Midnight Alan Stewart Anatole Litvak
1969 Castle Keep the Count of Maldorais Sydney Pollack
1973 Day for Night Alexandre François Truffaut
1974 Two Missionaries Monsignor Delgado Franco Rossi
1975 The Happy Hooker Yves St Jacques Nicholas Sgarro
Cat and Mouse Monsieur Richard Claude Lelouch
Mahogany Christian Rosetti Berry Gordy
1978 Two Solitudes Jean-Claude Tallard Lionel Chetwynd
1979 Something Short of Paradise Jean-Fidel Milieu David Helpern
1979 Beggarman, Thief Jean Delacroix Lawrence Doheny
1980 The Memory of Eva Ryker Inspector Laurier Walter Grauman
1982 Nana Count Muffat Dan Wolman
1982 Don't Look in the Attic Ugo Ressia Carlo Ausino
1984 The Blood of Others Monsieur Blomart Claude Chabrol
1986 Sweet Country Mr. Araya Michael Cacoyannis
1994 Giorgino Sebastien Laurent Boutonnat
1995 Jefferson in Paris D'Hancarville James Ivory
1996 The Proprietor Franz Legendre Ismail Merchant


  1. Georges Berr (died 1942) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2009)
  2. "Family: Alexandre Salomons/Suzanne Cahen (F5970)". Gladys and David Blank's Genealogy.
  3. fr:Diego Brosset
  4. Profile at
  5. fr:Catégorie:Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres
  6. H. Kristina Haugland (2006). Grace Kelly: Icon of Style to Royal Bride. Yale University Press. p. 966. ISBN 978-0-300-11644-1. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  7. Time Inc (30 May 1955). LIFE. Time Inc. pp. 15–. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
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