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Yousuf KARSH | Gratien Gelinas

KARSH, Yousuf
Armenia 1908 – United States of America 2002
1925 Canada
Gratien Gelinas 1945
gelatin silver photograph
printed image 61.6 (h) x 91.0 (w) cm
Purchased 1973
NGA 1974.396.124
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‘The French–Canadian actor in his favorite character of Fridolin. As the impertinent “Ti-Coq” and the bewildered “Fridolin”, this gifted French–Canadian actor-playwright-director has endeared himself to generations of Canadian theatre-goers.’ (Karsh)

Born in St-Tite, Quebec, in 1909 and trained as an accountant, Gélinas was vaulted to fame in 1937 through his radio character, Fridolin. The character also launched Gélinas into theatre as the star of comedy revues known as Les Fridolinades, which were huge successes from 1938 to 1946. Fridolin was also the lead role in the 1942 film La Dame aux Camélias, la Vraie, which Gélinas wrote and directed. It was a parody on Dumas’s novel and was the first colour talking film made in Canada. He was the co-founder of La Comédie Canadienne in 1957 and in 1969 he was appointed chairman of the Canadian Film Corporation.

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