A great theater man has just left us. Jacques Sereys, one of our most prestigious actors was also a formidable storyteller, an eternal lover of words, reading and play.

Although he shone on the stage in Paris, his life began in Marseille where, raised by his mother, he made his first literary discoveries. As a teenager, he wrote poems in the sunny streets. To help his mother, he worked at Crédit Lyonnais at the age of 14. The theatrical welcome he gives to clients and the tirades he declines when discussing earn him the sympathy of his colleagues, sad to see him go up to the capital, pursuing his stage dream.

After training at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'art dramatique in Paris where he tried to lose his southern accent, he entered the Comédie-Française in 1955 for ten years. In 1965, fond of discoveries and novelties, he explored other theatres and other roles. Sign of his eclecticism, in 1967 he performed in French and English the play of André Roussin A woman who tells the truth about the liner France between Cherbourg and Le Havre.

Back in the House of Molière in 1978 at the request of the administrator Pierre Dux before being made honorary member nearly twenty years later, he entered the history of the institution. The success chain goes on, his masters are Beaumarchais and Marivaux while his playmates are called Jacques Charon, Robert Hirsch, Jean Piat, Françoise Seigner. The triumph will come with La Villegiature, a trilogy signed Carlo Goldoni who will become his favorite author.

Excelling on stage, he also knows how to transform in front of the cameras. With thirty films and TV films to his credit, such as Louis Malle’s Le feu follet, Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s Le Hussard sur le toit and Philippe de Broca’s Le Bossu, he has established himself as a familiar actor to several generations of French.

Without ever losing his elegance, he loved to go from laughter to tears and make the big gap between the authors, playing as well Feydeau as Genet, Giraudoux as Goldoni. Admired by the public and the profession, in 2006 he received the Molière award for best actor for his performance in Du côté de chez Proust and a vibrant tribute was paid to him at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier throughout the 2007 season. In 2015, at the age of 87, he had in turn honoured a great author by writing and interpreting the play Et si Guitry m'était conté.

For all the emotions he has given us, we thank him.

I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.