Jean Marais, a French theatre and movie star best known for his association with Jean Cocteau, died on Nov. 8 in Cannes, according to The New York Times. He was 84.
Marais was born in Cherbourg, France, in 1913, but soon moved to Paris with his mother and brother. By age 20, he was getting small roles in films. Everything changed, however, when he met Cocteau in 1937. They struck up a romance which lasted until Cocteau's death in 1963.
The poet gave Marais his best role, as the Beast in the 1946 Cocteau-Rene Clement film "Beauty and the Beauty." He and Cocteau also made "Les Parents Terribles," "Orphee," "Le Testament d'Orphee" and "L'Aigle a Deux Tetes" together.
On stage, Marais directed himself in Cocteau's Oedipe-Roi. He also essayed many classical roles, including Prospero in The Tempest. According to the Associated Press obituary, Marais also had a mid-1990s starring role in a "Folies Bergeres" revue.
-- By Robert Simonson