French actor Jean-Pierre Bacri died at the age of 69

On screen, he never had a sense of party, but will remain the most endearing ringer of French cinema: actor, screenwriter and playwright Jean-Pierre Bacri died of cancer Monday at the age of 69.

A figure of theatre and cinema, the actor โ€œdied early in the afternoon,โ€ his agent, Anne Alvares-Correa told AFP.

โ€œAn immense sadness, a huge actor! Pick up,โ€ said actress Alexandra Lamy on Twitter, borrowing from the favorite vocabulary of Bacri‘s characters on the screen.

Because he was the master of the raging and disillusioned anti-heroes, but deeply human: from the absurd humor of โ€œDidierโ€, in the shoes of a football coach who must keep a dog man, to chiseled comedies with his accomplice Agnรจs Jaoui, to the hell of organizing a wedding in the โ€œSense of the feastโ€, by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakakier Ache.

โ€œOur sadness is immense, what a chance Jean-Pierre to have known you,โ€ testified the duo of directors on social networks, whose film will be rebroadcast on Sunday on TF1.

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to him on Twitter Monday night: โ€œHe had the sense of celebration and the taste of others. Jean-Pierre Bacri, the most tender of our rowers has gone away. Like an image, his laconic and sensitive humanity will continue to populate our lives.โ€

Bacri was also a screenwriter, and had written several plays and films with Agnรจs Jaoui. They owe to their duo bitter masterpieces such as โ€œLe goรปt des autresโ€ (2000) or โ€œUn air de familleโ€ (first a play in 1994, then brought to the screen in 1996, with an identical cast).

Behind his funny and depressive characters, Bacri had โ€œa taste for life… The meaning of life… Extreme dignity, at the end of the road,โ€ wrote Cannes festival president Pierre Lescure on social networks.

Jean-Pierre Bacri โ€œwas not despising, but he was exasperated by human stupidity. And not having his tongue in his pocket, he showed it,โ€ testified his predecessor Gilles Jacob, recalling this โ€œcategorical and hesitant voice, sharp and stuttering, caressing and singing.โ€

Whether they met him or not on the sets, many personalities of the cinema paid tribute to him: from Nathalie Baye (โ€œThe awesome, wonderful Jean-Pierre Bacri left us… tremendous grief…โ€) to Gilles Lellouche (โ€œImmense immense immense sadnessโ€) through Michรจle Laroque (โ€œHe will be forever in my heart. I have trouble imagining cinema without itโ€).

Christian Clavier, who had shot โ€œMy Best Friendsโ€ (1989) with him, remembers a โ€œman of great culture and intelligence.โ€

For most spectators, Bacri will remain for bespoke roles, such as that of the coffee boss, in sleeveless wool vest in โ€œA Family Airโ€.

And cult replicas: โ€œThis is the majority! Which one first? The one who thought the Earth was flat? The one who wants to restore the death penalty? … The one who puts a feather in her ass because it’s fashion? Which exactly?โ€ , his character, Georges, was angry in โ€œCuisine et dependancesโ€ (1991 for the play, 1993 for the film).

His depressive character was even exported outside France: โ€œThe sense of the partyโ€ attracted two million spectators abroad, in addition to the three million in France.

He had long won the recognition of his peers: the Caesar Academy, which awarded him a total of five statuettes, greeted an โ€œunforgettable and incomparable artist; a generous author, a sensitive actorโ€.

The one who knew him better than everyone is probably his accomplice Agnรจs Jaoui, who was his companion for a long time. This weekend again, she confided in an interview with the daily Le Monde how much Bacri had counted to her, as soon as they met in 1987.

โ€œHere is someone who expressed what I felt without even being formulated; who had reflections that pierced me, relieved me, testified to common values, a relationship to the good and evil I shared, with a conviction that amazed me because it was so singular!โ€ , she said.