Montand, Yves ēv môNtäN´ [key], 1921–1991, French singer and actor, b. Italy as Ivo Livi. His family settled in Marseille when he was an infant. He quit school at 11, held various manual-labor jobs, and was singing in local music halls by the time he was a teenager. He soon moved to Paris, where he caught they eye of Edith Piaf, who got him his first movie role in her film Étoile sans lumiére [star without light] (1946) and aided him in his singing and recording career. The epitome of Gallic charm and savoir faire, Montand was particularly admired for his songs about Paris and his sophisticated one-man shows. From the 1940s to the 90s he made 59 films, mostly French, some in English. Among the best-known are The Wages of Fear (1953), Let's Make Love (1960), costarring Marilyn Monroe, Vivre pour vivre [live for life] (1967), Costa-Gravas's Z (1969), Tout va bien [all's well] (1972), State of Siege (1973), and Jean de Florette (1986). He was married (1951–85) to the French actress Simone Signoret.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Popular and Jazz: Biographies