Speech Marks: The things they said about . . . the actor Yves Montand

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'Something of an anarchist.' Montand's schoolteacher, 1932.

'Pretty boy]' Heckler at Montand's stage debut, 1944.

'A thundering personality.' Lover Edith Piaf, 1945.

'Next to my husband and along with Marlon Brando, Yves Montand is the most attractive man I have ever met.' Marilyn Monroe, press conference for the movie 'Let's Make Love', 1959.

'Marilyn Monroe is Montand's best ticket to notoriety since she has been been famously faithful to Miller for the three-and-a half-year course of their marriage.' Norman Mailer, 'Marilyn: A Biography'.

'He's a user. A big user.' Hedda Hopper, Los Angeles Times, 24 5 1961.

'Yves Montand gives a remarkably non-egotistic performance in The Confession . . . It's unusual to see a big movie star become an instrument: Montand's personality disappears into the role which is played without pathos.' New Yorker, 12 12 70.

'He's a man to cope with major occasions. But let's say for the routine stuff he can at times be a trifle difficult. That is, when he is not downright impossible.' Wife Simone Signoret's autobiography, 'Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be', 1976.

'His face has a lived-in quality that tells you he has drunk too much, stayed up too late and loved too dangerously.' Trudi Pacter, Sunday Mirror 25 4 82.

'The extreme Left Wing group Action Directe planned to kill him and he is regularly attacked by the Communist Party and Middle East Arab movements.' Paul Webster, Guardian 11 12 87.

'One of the most precious assets of the Left.' President Mitterrand, Guardian, 12 12 87.

'His behaviour is of a man who knows he is good with women. I soon discovered, however, that his charm is laced with determination and once he had his teeth in a subject he was difficult to budge.' Angela Levin, Mail on Sunday 2 7 89.

'Over the years he was systematically cast (and miscast) in a ragbag of American films in all of which his nonchalant 'Frenchness' was overdetermined to such a degree that his own compatriots began to find him fairly risible.' Gilbert Adair, Independent 11 11 91.

'Part of every family in France.' President Mitterrand, Telegraph, 14 11 91.

'To a friend of Solidarity.' Wreath placed on Montand's grave, 14 11 91.

'I cannot bring myself to believe that I will never see him again and that he will not see the film (IP5).' Director Jean-Jacques Beineix, Times 16 11 91.

Montand's last film, 'IP5', opened in London last week

(Photograph omitted)