29 October 1917
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
25 February 1993 (aged 75)
Eddie Constantine (born Edward Constantinowsky in Los Angeles, California, October 29, 1917 - died Wiesbaden, Germany, February 25, 1993) was an expatriate American actor and singer who spent his career working in Europe. He became a star in France in the 1950s, most notably playing the part of the hard-boiled detective/secret agent Lemmy Caution (from Peter Cheyney's novels) in a series of French B-pictures, including Cet homme est dangereux (1953), Lemmy pour les dames (1961) and À toi de faire … mignonne (1963). Constantine's typical part was that of a suave-talking, seductive smooth guy, which he often played for laughs. Constantine, who eventually became a French citizen, enjoyed great popularity in several European countries, including France and Germany, as well as Africa. He also recorded several successful songs.
His most significant film was Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965), in which he reprised (to a more radical end) the role of Lemmy Caution. Constantine's box-office appeal in France waned in the mid-1960s, and he eventually relocated to Germany, where he worked as a character actor. Constantine claimed he never took his acting career seriously, as he considered himself to be a singer by trade. He took up the part of Lemmy for the last time in 1991, in Godard's experimental film Allemagne 90 neuf zéro. His last notable film appearance was in Lars Von Trier's Europa.
Constantine died of a heart attack on February 25, 1993.
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