The actress Catherine Lachens left this world at the age of 78, on September 27, at St Joseph hospital (75014), following cancer.
The public knew her thanks to her roles in comedies from the 70s and 80s, but also in more serious registers. For around forty years, the actress also played the characters of a wealthy bourgeoisie, a prostitute or even a bar owner, always with her cheeky voice and the exuberance that characterized her.
A busy career
The actress has filmed under the direction of great directors such as Georges Lautner (Cop or Thug, Death of a Rotten Man, The Dissolute Life of Gérard Floque, These Sorcerers Are Crazy), Yves Boisset (The Price of Danger), Jacques Deray or again Paul Vecchiali, (Rosa la rose public girl and A vot’bon coeur), Claude Zidi (Bête mais disciplined) or Claude Chabrol (TV film “The Blood of Others”). Unforgettable second role, she left her mark on French cinema in films such as “Colinot, trousse-chemise” where she shared the poster with Brigitte Bardot and Francis Huster, “Flic ou rogue”, alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo, “Je I’m shy but I take care of myself” where she played alongside Pierre Richard, “The Price of Danger” and “Monsieur Albert” with Philippe Noiret. In 1994, we found her with Josiane Balasko in “Gazon maudit”.
Cinema was not the only string to his bow. She also turned to the theater where she could step into the shoes of characters from Kafka, Molière, Feydeau or Genet, with great ease. Directors like Roger Planchon and Andrzej Wajda have directed her in contemporary works.
In 2015, she appeared in an episode of the series “Scènes deménage” on M6., alongside Marion Game and Gérard Hernandez. For television, we could see her regularly in other series such as “Maguy” in 1986, “Navarro” in 1995, “Sous le soleil” in 2004 and “Les beaux jours” in 2013.
Who was Catherine Lachens?
Born on September 2, 1945 in Boulogne Billancourt (92), her father is an engineer and her mother, an opera singer. She had a twin brother, a painter and photographer, who died in the early 2000s. After a hitchhiking and moped tour of Europe for a year and a half, she decided, at the end of the 1960s, to take courses of Jean Périmony then of Jean Cochet, which will lead her to the National Conservatory of Paris from where she will graduate with 3 First Prizes: classical, contemporary and foreign. She then took on small food jobs, including usherette at the cinema “Le Palace”, before making her debut on the big screen in 1972, in “What a Flash!” , film by Jean-Michel Barjol. Very quickly, she became essential to provide a response to big names in cinema like Jean-Paul Belmondo (The Incorrigible in 1975, Flic ou rogue…), Alain Delon (Flic story in 1975, the Gang, the Toubib, Un love of Swann..), Francis Huster and Brigitte Bardot (Colinot trousse-chemise in 1973), Philippe Noiret (Monsieur Albert in 1976) or Pierre Richard (I’m shy but I take care of myself…).
In the 1980s, she was a resident of the game on Antenne 2, “L’Académie des neuf” then of the game “Le Kadox” at the end of the 1990s. We will also remember the advertising spots that she had shot, for the Le Trèfle toilet paper in particular. She also said that thanks to this, she was able to buy her apartment in the 5th arrondissement of Paris where she still lived.
Apart from cinema, theater and television, Catherine Lachens practiced sculpture as an amateur (under the aegis of Noor Zade Brener), participating in several exhibitions, writing and reading. Intimate with Salvador Dali and thanks to the timbre of his voice, he asked her to come on Sunday afternoons to the Meurice hotel where he lived to read him prose. Dali had even nicknamed her “The Lion Reader” in a reference to his tousled haircut.
His last appearance dates back to 2015 in the comedy Full Pension played by Franck Dubosc and Gérard Lanvin.
Funerals and tributes
Suffering from cancer against which she had been fighting for several months, Catherine Lachens died on September 27 at St Joseph hospital in Paris, at the age of 78. The funeral took place on October 7. The religious ceremony was held in Paris, at the St Roch church, the artists’ parish. in the presence of artists including Francis Huster, Nicole Calfan, Katia Tchenko, Jean-Pierre Kalfon and Pierre-Jean Chalençon as well as a few people who knew her well. At the end of the religious ceremony, the coffin headed towards Céret in the eastern Pyrenees to be buried there two days later. Catherine Lachens will rest in the family vault with her parents and her brother.
In a press release, a few hours after the announcement of the disappearance of the actress, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, wrote:
“Popular actress, Catherine Lachens was a face of France and a great artist whose generosity and joy will be missed.”
For his part, Pierre Richard, although absent during the ceremony, declared: “Catherine Lachens was so lively, overflowing with life and laughter, not made for sadness. And now she makes us sad… ”
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