Maurice Chevalier

Maurice Auguste Chevalier (September 12, 1888 – January 1, 1972) was a French actor, singer, entertainer and a noted Sprechgesang performer. He is perhaps best known for his signature songs, including Louise, Mimi, Valentine, and Thank Heaven for Little Girls and for his films including The Love Parade and The Big Pond. His trademark attire was a boater hat, which he always wore on stage with a tuxedo. Born in Paris, he made his name as a star of musical comedy, appearing in public as a singer and dancer at an early age before working in four menial jobs as a teenager. In 1909, he became the partner of the biggest female star in France at the time, Fréhel. Although their relationship was brief, she secured him his first major engagement, as a mimic and a singer in l'Alcazar in Marseille to which he received critical acclaim by French theatre critics. In 1918 he discovered jazz and ragtime and went to London, where he found new success at the Palace Theatre. In 1917, he discovered jazz and ragtime and toured the United States. Whilst there, he met the American composers George Gershwin and Irving Berlin and brought Dédé to Broadway in 1922.


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