Actor and Activist Jean Duceppe Dies at 67
MONTREAL (AP) _ Jean Duceppe, an actor and crusading Quebec separatist, has died after a long illness. He was 67.
The cause of his death Friday was not disclosed.
Born in Montreal’s mainly French-speaking east end, Duceppe’s career in film, television, radio and theater spanned five decades. The late Quebec Premier Rene Levesque awarded him the ″Ordre National,″ the province’s highest honor.
Duceppe also was known as a union activist and ardent Quebec nationalist.
One of his last public appearances was before thousands of flag-waving Quebecers at a musical show last June. But he extended a hand to English- speaking Quebecers by saying the province belongs to all who love it.
In August, he left his hospital bed to campaign for his son, Gilles, who was elected in east Montreal as the first member of Parliament to run under the ″Bloc Quebecois″ banner.
Premier Robert Bourassa called Duceppe a ″giant″ and a ″pillar of the theater with remarkable talent.″
After starting his acting career on the stage in 1941, Duceppe went on to become a television pioneer. In 1952, he played in the first televised theatrical production on Radio-Canada, a French network.
His fame spread to English-speaking Canada with his depiction of a small- time hustler in the 1950s TV series ″The Plouffe Family,″ broadcast in French and English.
Duceppe also founded a theater company that bears his name and is still active.
He is survived by his wife Helene and seven children.