Joffrey de Peyrac is no more. Its interpreter, actor and director Robert Hossein, died on December 31 at the age of 93. He had marked generations of spectators in Angelique, Marquise of the Angels, film saga of the 60s with global success. He formed the mythical couple of cape and sword with Michèle Mercier.
The saga tells of the thwarted love, under Louis XIV, of Angélique de Sancé de Monteloup (Michèle Mercier), daughter of a landowner from Poitou, married at 17 to the rich Count Joffrey de Peyrac (Robert Hossein), older than she, scarred and lame, but so dark.
After Angelique, Marquise of the Angels, in 1964, will follow four new adventures of the cursed couple: Wonderful Angelique (1965), where Jean-Louis Trintignant appears, Angelique and the King (1966), with Sami Frey, Indomitable Angelique (1967) and finally Angelica and the Sultan, which ends the series in 1968. If the saga elevates Robert Hossein like Michèle Mercier to the rank of sex symbols, it will ultimately be heavier to bear for the actress, who will not manage to get rid of this cumbersome role and will remain Angelique’s prisoner forever.
However, the myth has set in and the regular rebroadcast of Angélique’s adventures on the small screen attracts millions of viewers each time. Robert Hossein adapted it, 30 years later in 1995, into a musical at the Palais des Sports with the actress Cécile Bois.
But, before being an immense cinematographic success, Angélique is first of all one of the most beautiful editorial successes of all time. In 1952, the novelist Anne Golon (1921-2017), inspired by Margaret Mitchell and her Gone with the wind, launches with her husband Serge in the writing of this romantic saga, which will include 13 opuses, translated into thirty languages and sold to a hundred million copies throughout the world. The writer had little tasted the film adaptation of her novel, calling it “misogynistic“those films where Angelique is, according to her, portrayed, in”little whore“or as a woman”stupid“.