Whereas "Shanghai" was not the best of
story plots, Boyer gave a moving portrayal
with Loretta Young.

Katharine Hepburn secured Charles
for "Break of Hearts" and here they are
with John Beal at the piano.
thus and so, to go out so many evenings a week and return at stated hours, he must behave accordingly. I did. I saw very little of the gay night life of the city, I had no romantic adventures. I went every night I was free to the theatre. I made two friends in those days who still are my good friends. One is Pierre Blancher, who played in the French picturization of 'Crime and Punishment' -- the other was Phillip Heriat, once an actor, now a novelist.
    "All three of us were consumed with a passion for the theatre. And it was by unanimous agreement that we went, every night off, to one theatre after another. We were all disciples of Lucien Guitry, who was then and remains still, though dead, the finest actor who ever lived. I learned more from watching him than from any other one individual. He was never Lucien Guitry. And that is what I hope and pray my professional epitaph will one day be --"He was never Charles Boyer." Guitry ran the gamut from sombre realism to light comedy. He could hold an audience spellbound for long minutes, without saying a word, just with the gestures of his hand. I saw him fifteen times in one month, I remember. We saw all of the best plays, not once but many times. We spent hours at sidewalk cafes, or wandering about the streets of Montparnasse, or in my tiny room at the pension, always criticizing and admiring the theatre.
    "We were the Three Musketeers of Mummery. We frequented the Left Bank, the Rue de la Paix, the Champs Elysees, and watched people, all kinds of people. We observed their mannerisms, their gestures, their facial expressions.

We tried our observations out on one another. We attended parties, clinics, funerals, the races and concerts, always watching closely the reactions of different people at these so-different times. We tried to know as many diverse types as we could. We talked to them and probed them, trying to discover how they would react to this situation or that, to this emotion or that. And just how they would manifest their reactions.
    "In all my later life in Paris, even today, I go about with very few actors. My friends are almost all doctors, lawyers, authors, scientists, scholars. The actor must draw his material from every walk of life. His horizon should not be limited to his fellow professionals.
    "And then in the daytime, of course, I attended all the necessary lectures at the Sorbonne, working hard for my License of Philosophy. I knew, as I had always known, that I would never become a teacher, a diplomat or any of the callings for which the License might qualify me. But I also knew that I must keep my pact with my mother. I had to have that bit of paper as a passport to the theatre."
    There were not, Charles told me definitely, any romances worth mentining in those student days. If there were any, he has forgotten them. All of his ardors, his emotions were given entirely to that one mistress, the theatre.
    A criticism from a French magazine says, "Women succumb to his great charm, his powerful personality, without being able to help themselves. He leaves them stunned and astonished, yet with all that he is superbly modest. . . . "


magazines menu