Depardieu: A Biography

Paul Chutkow, Author Alfred A. Knopf $24 (351p) ISBN 978-0-679-40943-4
Born in 1948 in a French village scarred by Nazi occupation, film star Gerard Depardieu grew up with a stutter and severe hearing problems, exacerbated by parents who rarely talked in whole sentences. How this loner, school dropout and petty thief conquered his emotional traumas and went on to play eloquent soldier-poet Cyrano de Bergerac, a Resistance hero in The Last Metro and a rebel or sexual provacateur in dozens of other movies makes for an amazing life story. Chutkow, who writes on film for the New York Times and Vogue , peers behind the public mask of bravado to probe a serious, complex artist given to mood swings and workaholic excess. This engaging biography also investigates the scandal surrounding a 1991 profile in Time that quoted Depardieu as admitting that he had committed rape at age nine, a statement he subsequently denied making. Chutkow's analysis, based on Time 's own tape and interview transcript, supports Depardieu's denial and, in effect, charges the magazine with inaccurate journalism. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Hardcover - 978-0-517-15822-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-0650-9
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