French director Jean Delannoy dies at age 100

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jean Delannoy, an early actor who started out in silent film movies and became a film director has died yesterday at the age of 100. The cause of death was announced as old age.

Delannoy was born on January 12, 1908 in Noisy-le-Sec, Île-de-France, France. Amongst his best known works is the 1958 film "Maigret tend un piège", which he directed.

Although Delannoy was born in a Paris suburb, his family was from Haute-Normandie in the north of France. He was a Protestant, a descendant of Huguenots, some of whom fled the country during the French Wars of Religion and were first to settle in Wallonia. After their name became De la Noye and then Delano, they were on the second ship to emigrate to Plymouth, Massachusetts in America.

Delannoy was a student in Paris when he began acting in silent films. He eventually landed a job with Paramount Studios Parisian facilities, working his way up to head film editor. In 1934 he directed his first film and went on to a long career, both writing and directing. In 1946, his film about a Protestant minister titled La symphonie pastorale was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1960, his film, Maigret tend un piège was nominated for a BAFTA award for "Best Film from any Source."

In recognition of his long service to the French motion picture industry, Delannoy was given an Honorary César Award in 1986.