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Adolphe Jean Menjou Edit Profile

actor

Adolphe Jean Menjou, American actor. Served to captain United States Army, 1917-1919; Member American Legion, Screen Actors Guild, French Legion of Honor (1947).; Club: Belair.

Background

Menjou, Adolphe Jean was born on February 8, 1890 in Pittsburgh. Son of Albert and Nora (Joyce) Menjou.

Education

He was educated at the Culver Military Academy, and graduated from Cornell University.

Career

Menjou was on the stage before coming to the movies: The Amazons (17, Joseph Kaufman); Courage (21, Sidney Franklin); as Louis XIII in The Three Musketeers (21, Fred Niblo); The Eternal Flame (22, Frank Lloyd); Is Matrimony a Failure? (22, James Cruze); Bella Donna (23, George Fitzmaurice); The Spanish Dancer (23, Herbert Brenon); A Woman of Paris (23, Charles Chaplin); The World’s Applause (23, William C. De Mille); Broadway After Dark (24, Monta Bell); For Sale (24, George Archainbaud); The Marriage Circle (24, Ernst Lubitseh); Forbidden Paradise (24, Lubitseh); Open All Night (24, Paul Bern); Are Parents People? (25, Malcolm St. Clair); The King on the Main Street (25. Bell); A Kiss in the Dark (25, Frank Tuttle); Lost—a Wife (25, W. C. De Mille); The Swan (25, Dmitri Buchowetzki); The Grand Duchess and the Waiter (26, St. Clair); A Social Celebrity (26, St. Clair); as the Devil figure in The Sorrows of Satan (26, D. W. Griffith); A Gentleman of Paris (27, Harry d’Arrast); Service for Ladies (27, d’Arrast); His Private Life (28, Tuttle); A Night of Mystery (28, Lothar Mendes); New Moon (30, Jack Conway); The Easiest Way (31, Conway); as the editor in The Front Page (31, Lewis Milestone); Prestige (32, Tay Garnett); Forbidden (32, Frank Capra); as the impresario in Morning Glory (32, Lowell Sherman); as Rinaldi in A Farewell to Arms (33, Frank Borzage); Easy to Love (33, William Keighley); Convention City (33, Archie Mayo); Journal of a Crime (34, Keighley); The Mighty Barnaul (34, Walter Lang); Gold Diggers of 1935 (35, Busby Berkeley); Broadway Gondolier (35, Lloyd Bacon); The ¡\iilky Way (36, Leo McCarey); Wives Never Know (36, Elliott Nugent); One Hundred Men and a Girl (37, Henrv Koster); Stage Door (37, Gregor)' La Cava); the producer in A Star Is Born (37, William Wellman); The Goldwyn Follies (38, George Marshall); and Letter of Introduction (38. John M. Stahl).

That was his last romantic role, after which he slipped into supporting parts or as the nonsinger in musicals: Golden Boy (39, Rouben Mamoulian); The Housekeeper’s Daughter (39, Hal Roach); A Bill of Divorcement (40, John Farrow); Road Show (41, Gordon Douglas); You Were Never Lovelier (42, William A. Seiter); Roxie Hart (42, Wellman); Syncopation (42, William Dieterle); Hi, Diddle Diddle (43, Andrew L. Stone); Step Lively (44, Tim Whelan); Heartbeat (46, Sam Wood); The Hucksters (47, Conway); State of the Union (48, Capra); To Please a Lady (50, Clarence Brown); The Tall Target (51, Anthony Mann); Across the Wide Missouri (51, Wellman); The Sniper (52, Edward Dmytryk); Man on a Tightrope (53, Elia Kazan); The Ambassador’s Daughter (56, Norman Krasna); as the corrupt general in Paths of Glory (57, Stanley Kubrick); and Pollyanna (60, David Swift).

Membership

Served to captain United States Army, 1917-1919. Member American Legion, Screen Actors Guild, French Legion of Honor (1947). Club: Belair.

Personality

Menjou was Paramount’s glittering mannequin, sleek, dapper, hair smoothed back, the face slit by a smile and the suggestion of a sharp triangle of moustache. Menjou was famous as a dandy. Even without The Ace of Cads (26, Luther Reed) among his credits, it would be hard to remember him as anything other than the meticulous exploiter of the screen's ladies. But he is the dignified victim of Dietrich in Morocco (30, Josef von Sternberg), the first example of the amused, fatalistic man observing the sex goddess in Sternberg’s work—and, like John Lodge, in Scarlet Empress, bearing an odd resemblance to Sternberg himself. Morocco shows the finesse Menjou was capable of, like a man taking stock of a snooker.

But he was typecast for suggestive deference over some twenty years; no wonder he became a stylized little man.

  • “As Louise Brooks remembered: “Look at Adolphe Menjou. He never felt anything. He used to say, ‘Now I do Lubitseh number one.’ ‘Now I do Lubitseh number two.’ And that’s exactly what he did. You felt nothing, working with him, and yet see him on the screen—and he was a great actor.””

Connections

Married Verree Teasdale, August 25, 1934.

father:
Albert Menjou

mother:
Nora (Joyce) Menjou

spouse:
Verree Teasdale