Death of Wladimir Yordanoff, tenderly ferocious actor

Perhaps he was the only one in the theater as in the cinema to wield the art of the cowardice with as much derisory authority as an acrimonious Jean-Pierre Bacri. Faced with a Catherine Frot (Yoyo) tipsy in A family resemblance (1996), adaptation from the theater to the screen of a play by the Bacri-Jaoui tandem by Cédric Klapisch, he plays the husband who howls in the small restaurant in Franchouillard Au père calme : “But we’ll find out that it’s his birthday. She’s not going to dance naked on the table because it’s her birthday anyway! “ It seems obvious that there, right away, we do not have the heart to dance naked: Wladimir Yordanoff, wonderful in the roles of grumpy, died Tuesday in Normandy, “The consequences of a lightning disease” according to the artistic agency Aartis. He was only 66 years old.

Wladimir Yordanoff was this actor with half a century of theatrical career on the clock, but also in the cinema as a supporting role. With a perfectly identifiable face, tenderly fierce, imposing stature, sometimes tender grin, he fluctuated brilliantly from fury to appeasement. Son of Bulgarian parents who had to flee the country in 1946 – a singer mother and a violinist father – he was a pupil of Antoine Vitez and Pierre Debauche when entering the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, played with the great Stuarts Seide, Patrice Chéreau, Alain Françon or Roger Planchon. At the same time, Wladimir Yordanoff passes in front of the camera, the first time in 1983 when he wears the uniform of a chief of the guards, in the feature film Danton by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda. He also plays Paul Gauguin in the Vincent and Theo de Robert Altman and 1990.

Rarely a leading role, Yordanoff yet bursts the screen with his aplomb and his furious gaze; very close to the Bacri-Jaoui couple, he also slips into the shoes of a homo snob for the taste of Others in 1999. He was also boss of the brigade for the protection of minors in Police (2011) by Maïwenn, general in the J’accuse (2019) by Polanski, and had just taken over from the late Pierre Bellemare to play French counter-espionage boss Armand Lesignac in OSS 117: Red alert in black Africa, alongside Jean Dujardin, which will be released next year.

Jeremy Piette


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