Lucien Dalsace Poster

Biography

Gustave Louis Chalot, born in Chatou (near Paris) in 1893, was destined by his father for a job in the silk industry. But Chalot senior had overlooked something important: one of Gustave's great-aunts, Marie Bilhaut, had been a renowned resident at the Comédie-Française while one of his great-uncles had been an opera singer. As a result of the presence of Thespis in the family genes it comes as no surprise that as of his high school years young Gustave organized theater performances with and for his schoolmates. After passing his final exams he obeyed his father and followed a training in the silk industry. At the same time he appeared incognito in several plays. When Gustave's dad became aware of what was happening he understood that his son's passion for the theater was too strong to be resisted. Now Gustave could at last tread the boards remorselessly. World War I interrupted this fledgling career though. Gustave was indeed drafted into the Third Battalion of Chasseurs where, despite this major inconvenience, he had the opportunity to meet the famous actor Jean Toulout. It was the the beginning of a solid and lasting friendship. Gustave then transferred into the Air Force where he acted heroically, taking part in many an air battle. And, just like when he was a student, he organized performances for the benefit of his war mates. Once the war was over, well-built, handsome Gustave resumed his acting career as Lucien Dalsace this time. Signed by Léon Volterra, the owner of the Théâtre de Paris, he found himself very much in demand as a romantic lead. His great presence, his manly appearance, his handsome face could not remained unnoticed by the movies for long and he debuted top-billed in "La brute" in 1921. Two years later his double role in the eight-chapter serial "L'aviateur" made him a true star. From then on he went from success to success in films directed by Louis Feuillade, René Leprince, Gaston Ravel, René Hervil and Henri Desfontaines. But history repeated itself. His career was once again interrupted and the culprit then was the coming of sound. Lucien Dalsace, still a matinée idol a few months before, had abruptly gone unfashionable. Getting no more roles, Lucien/Gustave changed jobs and became a perfume merchant in the Latin Quarter. He made his comeback in 1937 but he played only a few character roles in a few undistinguished pictures. In 1941 - irony of fate - he returned to trade and died in oblivion in 1980, aged 87.