Charles Boyer (28 August 1899 – 26 August 1978) was a French actor who appeared in more than 80 films between 1920 and 1976. After receiving an education in drama, Boyer became a star of 1920s French theater, but he found his greatest success in American movies during the 1930s. His memorable performances were among the era's most highly praised in romantic dramas such as Conquest (1937), Algiers (1938), and Love Affair (1939). Another famous role was in the 1944 mystery-thriller Gaslight. He received four Academy Award nominations for Best Actor.
Boyer was born in Figeac, Lot, Midi-Pyrénées, France, the son of Augustine Louise Durand and Maurice Boyer, a merchant. Boyer was a shy, small-town boy who discovered the movies and theatre at the age of eleven. Boyer performed comic sketches for soldiers while working as a hospital orderly during World War I. He began studies briefly at the Sorbonne, and was waiting for a chance to study acting at the Paris Conservatory. He went to the capital city to finish his education, but spent most of his time pursuing a theatrical career. In 1920, his quick memory won him a chance to replace the leading man in a stage production, and he scored an immediate hit. In the 1920s, he not only played a suave and sophisticated ladies' man on the stage but also appeared in several silent films.
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