Death of Michel Robin, familiar supporting role

A modest office worker or piano tuner, a nice tramp or an old servant, Michel Robin has collected supporting roles in the cinema as well as in the theater, attracting an indefinable sympathy with his familiar presence. “La Maison de Molière” announced Thursday, November 19, his death at the age of 90.

Former member of the Comédie-Française (1997-2010), the bald-headed actor won the Grand Prix for interpretation at the Locarno festival in 1979 for The Little Fugues by Yves Yersin as well as the Molière for Best Supporting Actor in 1990 for The winter crossing scored by Yasmina Reza.

For some, he was Beckett’s Lucky du Godot directed by Roger Blin in 1970. For others, it was the old farmhand who offers himself an escape on his solex in The little fugues. He was also the Doc of the series Fraggle Rock (1983) who became the imaginary grandfather of an entire generation.


For many, it was mostly these roles of faithful servants on the stage (Trivelin in The Double inconstancy, Firs in The Cherry Orchard) and old men with worried sweetness on the big screen (the fabulous destiny of Amelie Poulain, A long engagement Sunday).

→ ARCHIVE. “The fabulous destiny of Amélie Poulain” is that of a euphoric film

Born November 13, 1930 in Reims, Michel Robin – although complexed by a very banal physique of a bald man, a lunar face and later a bent figure – arrived at the theater at the age of 26, after studying law.

A pupil of Cours Dullin, he spent six years in Roger Planchon’s troupe at the Théâtre National Populaire in Villeurbanne (1958-1964) and played in 17 shows including Dead souls, George dandin and The three Musketeers.

The Beckett revelation

In the early 1970s, Roger Blin hired him to play Lucky in Waiting for Godot at Renaud-Barrault at the Récamier theater. Beckett’s discovery – “In whom there is nothing to understand but everything to feel” – is a revelation for the actor.

He finds the playwright ten years later in Game over where he plays Clov. It is the role and the part of his life. “It may sound pretentious, but at Beckett’s I am at home. It’s so funny and so awful at the same time », he confides to World.

→ TO (RE) READ. “End of the game”, life and nothingness according to Beckett

It is directed in particular by Lucian Pintillé (The Wild Duck d’Ibsen), Alfredo Arias (Storm by Shakespeare), Brigitte Jaques (The Imposture de Bernanos), Marcel Maréchal (Glengarry Glen Rose by David Mamet), Claude Régy (Saved by Edward Bond) and Jérôme Savary (The night of kings by Shakespeare).

In the cinema, discovered by Claude Goretta (The invitation, 1972), he plays a host of supporting roles in around fifty films, including The confession (Costa-Gavras, 1969), A bag of marbles (Doillon, 1975) and You have not seen anything yet by Alain Resnais (2012).


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