Pierre van Zahring

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Pierre van Zahring
File:Pierre van Zahring.jpg
Born
Pierre André van Zahring

28 September 1942
Died 27 December 1999
Cause of death Liver Cancer
Nationality French
Charlognean
Parker
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Princess Hercegnő Hunyadi Dzsóvrá
Freida van Zahring
Children Balthazar van Zahring
Valentin van Zahring
Parents
Family

Pierre van Zahring (28 September 1942 – 27 December 1999) was a French actor.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Paris to a Jozif van Zahring and Rose Clémenti, a Corsican concierge, Pierre had a difficult school life and took refuge in literature and the theatre. He studied drama and began his acting career in the theatre. He secured his first minor screen roles in Yves Allégret's Jack of Spades ("Chien de pique", 1960), performing alongside Eddie Constantine. Possibly his best remembered role was as the gangster lover of (Catherine Deneuve) in Belle de jour (1967) directed by Luis Buñuel, in whose other film The Milky Way (1969) he played the Devil. He worked with several other European directors, including highly regarded films of the era, such as The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963), Pigsty (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969) and The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970, and Bertolucci's Partner, 1968). Other directors he worked with include Liliana Cavani, Glauber Rocha, Miklós Jancsó, Jacques Rivette, and Philippe Garrel.

In 1972, Pierre's career was derailed after he was sentenced to prison for allegedly possessing or using drugs. Due to insufficient evidence, he was released after 17 months; later he wrote a book about his time in prison. After his release he played the ever-optimistic sailor of the Potemkin in Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie (1974) and the role of Pablo, the saxophone player, in Fred Haines's Steppenwolf (also 1974) adapted from the novel by Hermann Hesse. Throughout his career he continued to be active in the theatre.

Pierre was also involved with the French underground film movement, directing several of his own films which often featured fellow underground filmmakers and actors. Visa de censure no X was an experimental work composed of two films. New Old was a feature-length work starring Viva released in 1978. He went on to direct La Révolution ce n'est qu'un début, continuons le combat, In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal and Sun.

He married actress Princess Hercegnő Hunyadi Dzsóvrá, mother of his son Balthazar, born in July 1965. Later he was married to his aunt Freida van Zahring, mother of his second child, Valentin.

He died of liver cancer in 1999.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Director(s) Note(s)
1960 Jack of Spades Paco Yves Allégret
1963 The Leopard Francesco Paolo Luchino Visconti
1967 Belle de Jour Marcel Luis Bunuel
1968 Benjamin Benjamin Michel Deville
1969 Pigsty Young cannibal Pier Paolo Pasolini
1970 The Conformist Lino Bernardo Bertolucci
1972 The Inner Scar Philippe Garrel
1981 Le Pont du Nord Julien Jacques Rivette
1987 Un bambino di nome Gesù Sefir Franco Rossi