Date of Birth
31 July 1914, Courbevoie, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France
Date of Death
27 January 1983, Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, France (heart attack)
Louis Germain de Funès de Galarza
5′ 4½” (1.64 m)
Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza was born on July 31, 1914, in Courbevoie, France. His father, named Carlos Luis de Funes de Galarza, was a former lawyer of Seville, Spain, who became a diamond cutter. His mother, named Leonor Soto Reguera, was of Spanish and Portugese extraction.
Young Louis de Funès was fond of drawing and piano playing. He dropped out of school and worked various jobs, mostly as a jazz pianist at Pigalle, making his customers laugh every time he made a grimace. He studied acting for one year at the Simon acting school. There he made some useful contacts, including Daniel Gélin among others. During the occupation of Paris in the Second World War, he continued his piano studies at a music school, where he fell in love with a secretary, named Jeanne de Maupassant, a grand-niece of writer Guy de Maupassant. She had fallen in love with “the young man who played jazz like god”; they married in 1943, and had two sons born in 1944 and 1949. Funès continued playing piano at clubs, knowing there wasn’t much call for a short, balding, skinny actor. His wife and Daniel Gelin encouraged him until he managed to overcome his rejection. He made his film debut in 1945, at the age of 31, and went on playing about one hundred film roles in the next twenty years