VIDEO – Death of Marthe Mercadier: return on the course of a queen of the boulevard theater

She was a great lady of the theater who liked above all to make people laugh. Fantastic and energetic, the one we called the “Queen of the Boulevard” had notably played in “The President”, a play directed by Pierre Mondy and awarded in 1989 by the Molière for the best comic show.

Marthe Mercadier was born on October 23, 1928 in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis). Thanks to her grandfather, president of the Society of Authors, she entered the world of entertainment at a very young age: at the age of 5, she danced alongside the great Joséphine Baker. She helped her father in the Resistance during the war and, at the end of the 1940s, launched her first humanitarian association.

His cinematographic career, consisting of around forty films, began in 1950 with Lost memories by Christian-Jaque. In 1952, she married the actor Gérard Néry with whom she had a daughter, Véronique. The couple will separate twenty years later. However, she will not have a significant role to her credit. “I never looked for rewarding roles. I played the ridiculous, the lost, the rejected women, the idiots. I was more vigilant for my life as a woman than for my career” cinematographic, she said in 1999 to the Dépêche du Midi.

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On the other hand, she broke out on television at the end of the 1960s, in the successful series, The holy darlings, alongside Micheline Presle and Daniel Gélin.

Old stutterer

Marthe Mercadier, who started in the theater as a blower, played in nearly fifty plays, sharing the stage with Bruno Crémer, Michel Galabru, Louis de Funès or even, later, the latter’s grandson, Laurent de Funès. She played Georges Feydeau, Françoise Dorin, Marcel Aymé and triumphed in pieces like Thirteen at the table (1984) or The squat (2000).

But she was not only an actress: she directed, briefly, the theater of Vieux-Colombier (1970 and 1971), produced films (in particular the great success of Patrick Schulmann, And tenderness? Mess ! in 1979) and plays. In 1981, she was appointed head of audiovisual mission to the Socialist Minister for Women’s Rights, Yvette Roudy. Engaged in various actions against stammering (child, she stammered) or cystic fibrosis, in 1979 she created an association to help the deprived of Africa which kept her busy.

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Participation in the show “Dance with the stars” in 2011

In 2005, she signed her memoir (“La rire est mon refuge”). In 2011, she took part in the reality TV show “Danse avec les stars” on TF1, at the age of 82. Marthe Mercadier quit cinema in 2002, television and theater in 2012.

The one who was so gay is experiencing a painful end of life. In 2014, her only daughter, Véronique, who became her press secretary, confided that her mother had Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the actress has to face great financial difficulties, not having contributed to the pension funds. She is placed under the guardianship of her daughter.

In 2015, she said on Europe 1 that he “is very, very important to speak quietly (of his illness). We will not start to cry. Little by little, maybe I will not see any more, that I will not be able to walk, but it is important for the others who will continue to walk, who will continue to laugh “.

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