Fans Gather to Mourn Actor-Singer Yves Montand
PARIS (AP) _ About 200 people, admirers and the curious, gathered Sunday outside the apartment of Yves Montand to pay homage to the singer-actor who died a day earlier at the age of 70.
They stood quietly outside the apartment on the Boulevard Saint Germain. Some gazed at the turn-of-the-century building or photographed it; others timidly approached the door to lay bouquets of flowers or sign a condolence book.
″We loved you,″ wrote an American couple from Plymouth, Mich.
Inside, family members and close friends paid their last respects, including Carole Amiel, Montand’s companion who bore his only child, Valentin, three years ago. Also there was Catherine Allegret, Simone Signoret’s daughter by a previous marriage.
Signoret, who died in 1985, was Montand’s wife of 33 years. She starred opposite him in the 1956 film ″Les Sorcieres de Salem″ (The Witches of Salem) and the 1976 police movie ″Police Python 357.″
″I have tears in my eyes,″ Paulette Simon, 70, said outside Montand’s apartment. ″We were the same age. I was at Pere Lachaise (Cemetery) for Simone Signoret; I’ll go to his burial too.″
Montand is to be buried at the cemetery Wednesday.
Montand was one of France’s most popular entertainers, a versatile performer who did vaudeville, starred in musicals and played romantic, comic and hard-boiled characters on the screen.
An Italian immigrant named Yvo Livi who came to France as a child, he worked his way up through music halls and smoky cabarets to the Moulin Rouge and other top theaters.
From there his film career took off, and he starred in nearly 60 movies, including the Hollywood-made ″Let’s Make Love″ in 1960 with Marilyn Monroe, with whom he had a much-publicized love affair.
He was also internationally acclaimed for the 1986 companion movies ″Jean de Florette″ and ″Manon des Sources″ (released in the United States as ″Manon of the Spring″), a story of a dispute over water set in 1920s rural France.
He was at work on another film when he was hospitalized early Saturday for a heart attack. He died later in the day.
French radio and television stations reprogrammed their schedules to broadcast Montand songs and retrospectives, and the government-owned Antenne-2 network was to show ″Jean de Florette″ Sunday night.