Marthe Mercadier died at the age of 92. The actress, who had a romance with the greatest pilot in history, will remain the dean of “Dance With The Stars”? (Crazy) adventures of this figure of the boulevard theater, film actress, face of television and queen of cabaret … forever in the hearts of the French.
Marthe Mercadier made many French people laugh, cry and vibrate, who followed her on stage or on the big screen. Unfortunately, the actress, who has been fighting for almost 10 years against the disease ofAlzheimer, has just died, his family announced.
Disappeared from the public scene, she lived with his daughter Véronique and their animals. “We had a lot of worries. There was talk at one point of placing it. I fought precisely not to place it (…) I decided to keep her with me, with us. I was appointed curator“, had entrusted the latter to the microphone ofEurope 1, in 2015.
But before this misfortune befell her, the whimsical actress has had a busy life since her childhood alongside Josephine Baker, until his remarkable experience in Dance with the stars! Secrets of an actress who has lived (almost) everything …
Marthe Mercadier started alongside Joséphine Baker
Marthe Mercadier was born in 1928 in Saint-Ouen. Thanks to the well-filled address book of her grandfather, president of the Society of Authors, she was chosen for dance with Joséphine Baker, from the age of 5. It is literally on the knees of the great leader of the American magazine that little Marthe grows up, amazed by the scene.
But at 6, she suddenly becomes stutterer, then mute, for almost a year. Another tragedy hits her head on, shortly afterwards, when she makes a serious fall in an acrobatic dance performance. For several years, she was paralyzed and must use a wheelchair …
Marthe Mercadier was part of the Resistance
Marthe Mercadier was a teenager during the Second World War. Courageous, she does not hesitate to enter the French resistance with his father. His role? Carry messages to survivors.
From snowblower to great actress
After the war, Marthe Mercadier, passionate about the Theater, embarked on a acting career. It begins as snowblower at the Saint-Georges theater in Paris, then played his first role in At the approach of an evening of the world, directed by Maurice Escande and Jacques-Henri Duval. The premiere of the show takes place … May 8, 1945, war day!
Then, the young actress illustrated herself in other pieces such as Flea in the ear, by Georges Feydeau or Forbidden to the public, by Jean Le Poulain …
But it is mainly thanks to the series The Holy Darlings, in which she holds one of the main roles between 1965 and 1970, that Marthe Mercadier stood out to the public.
His marriage to Gérard Néry
In 1952, Marthe Mercadier marries actor Gérard Néry… And their marriage did not go unnoticed, since it made the headlines of the time! In 1961, they gave birth to a little Véronique. After 20 years of love, they separate.
Marthe Mercadier discovered Louis de Funès
Against all expectations, it was (in part) Marthe Mercadier who discovered the talent of Louis de Funès, hitherto unknown. As she goes out in the evening with the actor Daniel Gélin, in a club in Paris, she is hypnotized by a “little pianist curled up“. “He played, he was sublime, he made gestures“, she recalled at the microphone of FranceInfo.
At his side, Daniel Gélin shared his admiration for this funny pianist and decides to offer him a role the same evening! And this is how Louis de Funès made his first steps of an actor in the play The Straw Lover, by Marc-Gilbert Sauvajon, in the 1940s.
His freewheeling love with the greatest rider in history
For a year she saw a love story inflamed with Juan Manuel Fangio, crowned five times world champion of Formula1. The actress, hungry for speed and adrenaline, is fascinated by the one considered to be one of the greatest pilots in history, which, contrary to appearances, was far from being adept of strong sensations daily. “I have never laughed so much, he was very sincere. And he was traveling at 90 km / h on the highway! He didn’t want to speed up. He said the other drivers were crazy“, she told the microphone of FranceInfo.
Above all, Fangio has him save the life by giving him instructions to follow in the event of car accident. “He told me to curl up under the dashboard“, she recalled in We are not in bed. Valuable advice that she keeps in mind and applies later, the day she is the victim of a serious car accident. “Thanks to him, I left it almost intact, with 2 bruises on the thighs in a busted car, she blurted out.
Marthe Mercadier, in the saddle
As an amateur des animals, Marthe Mercadier had bought a land on the Normandy coast, the Haras du Clos Poulain. “It was for trotters, not for gallopers. I had five broodmares, they loved music and never gave birth without their music. It was great“, she confided to the Rendez-vous d’Atlantia in 2011.
Marthe Mercadier was a matchmaker (or almost)
In the 1950s, the actress hired a apartment on the beach of La Baule, where it hosted its actor friends, including the great Kirk Douglas… who was not unhappy with his visit! “I married him! He met a friend of mine (Anne Buydens, editor’s note) in my garage and they are still together“, she had confided during the Rendez-vous d’Atlantia.
The oldest DALS candidate
In 2011, Marthe Mercadier surprised the public by taking up a crazy challenge. She participates in the show Dance with the stars and has for partner the dancer Gregoire Lyonnet (and current husband of Alizée).
Recall that at the time, the actress is 82 years old! “At first I said to myself: ‘What am I doing here’. But 82 is the age when you can afford little whims, try out“, she confided in We are not in bed. Finally, she is eliminated the third week of the competition … To this day, she remains the oldest candidate of the show !
Its drama, Alzheimer’s disease
It was at this time that Véronique, daughter and press officer of the actress, begins to realize the memory problems from his famous mother.
“I noticed symptoms at the beginning, because mom has a lot of violence in her, she always had a lot of energy. And there was a period in six months when her character changed, she had become agressive. It was from there that I decided to call a doctor to find out what was going on, because it was really multiplied“, she told the microphone ofEurope 1.
And to add: “Mom has lost immediate memory. That is to say, we do something and five minutes later she no longer remembers it. It is this memory that disappears. That’s why she can’t do her job anymore“.
The public saved her from the streets
In addition to his fight against Alzheimer’s disease, the radiant actress must face a terrible ordeal in 2014. On the straw, Marthe Mercadier accumulates unpaid rents and is threatened with expulsion of his accommodation in Neuilly-sur-Seine. “I won a lot of money, I spent everything I won (…) Mnow i’m outside“, she told the Figaro.
Devastated, she throws a call for help to its audience… who are there! Many fans of the actress contact Brigitte Bel, her artistic agent, to offer their help to the interpreter of Fanny in The Holy Darlings. Less than a year later, she finally finds a solution. “I moved into social housing of 70 m², with two bedrooms and a beautiful view of the Seine! The priority now is to decorate the apartment, because part of my furniture has been seized“, she explained.
Then Marthe Mercadier lost a much more pernicious fight, that of the disease …