All articles and pages may contain affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here. Edward G Robinson

Charles Boyer



L’Homme du large 






Le Grillon du foyer 




Infernal Circle



Captain Fracasse 



La Barcarolle d’amour 

Revolt in the Prison



The Magnificent Lie

Le Procès de Mary Dugan 




The Man from Yesterday

Red-Headed Woman 



La Bataille 

I.F.1 ne répond plus 

The Empress and I 


F.P.1 Doesn’t Answer 



The Battle 


The Only Girl 




Le Bonheur 

Private Worlds 

Break of Hearts





The Garden of Allah

I Loved a Soldier (unfinished film) 



History Is Made at Night









Love Affair

When Tomorrow Comes

Le Corsaire 



All This, and Heaven Too 



Back Street 

Hold Back the Dawn 

Appointment for Love 



Tales of Manhattan 



Flesh and Fantasy 

The Constant Nymph 




Together Again

The Fighting Lady (French version only) 



Confidential Agent 



The Battle of the Rails 

Cluny Brown 



A Woman’s Vengeance 

Arch of Triumph 



The 13th Letter 

The First Legion 



The Happy Time

Thunder in the East 



The Earrings of Madame de… 

Boum sur Paris



The Cobweb 




Lucky to Be a Woman 

Around the World in 80 Days 

Paris, Palace Hotel 



La Parisienne 




The Buccaneer 




Midnight Folly (fr)



The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Adorable Julia 



Love Is a Ball 



A Very Special Favor 



How to Steal a Million 

Is Paris Burning? 



Casino Royale 

Barefoot in the Park 



Hot Line



The April Fools

The Madwoman of Chaillot 



Lost Horizon 






A Matter of Time 


Charles Boyer never won an Oscar, though he was nominated for Best Actor four times in Conquest (1937), Algiers (1938), Gaslight (1944) and Fanny (1961).

That love at first sight should happen to me was Life’s most delicious revenge on a self-opinionated fool. ~ Charles Boyer

Charles Boyer: Learn more about him, review his filmography and more

Biographies, Actors

Charles Boyer  was born on August 28, 1899 in Figeac, Lot, 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.

MGM signed Boyer to a contract, and he loved life in the United States, but nothing much came of his first American stay from 1929 to 1931. At first, he performed film roles only for the money and found that supporting roles were unsatisfying. However, with the coming of sound, his deep voice made him a romantic star.

His first Hollywood break came with a very small role in Jean Harlow‘s Red-Headed Woman (1932). After starring in a French adaptation of Liliom (1934), directed by Fritz Lang, he began to receive public favor; Boyer landed his first leading Hollywood role in the romantic musical Caravan (1934) with Loretta Young. Subsequently, he co-starred with Claudette Colbert in the psychiatric drama Private Worlds (1935).

Until the early 1930s, Boyer mainly continued making French films, and Mayerling, co-starring Danielle Darrieux in 1936, made him an international star. This was followed by Orage (1938), opposite Michèle Morgan. The off-screen Boyer was bookish and private, far removed from the Hollywood high life. But onscreen he made audiences swoon as he romanced Katharine Hepburn in Break of Hearts (1935), Marlene Dietrich in his first Technicolor film, The Garden of Allah (1936), Jean Arthur in History Is Made at Night (1937), Greta Garbo in Conquest (1937), and Irene Dunne in Love Affair (1939).

In 1938, he landed his famous role as Pepe le Moko, the thief on the run in Algiers, an English-language remake of the classic French film Pepe le Moko with Jean Gabin. Although in the movie Boyer never said to costar Hedy Lamarr “Come with me to the Casbah,” this line was in the movie trailer. The line would stick with him, thanks to generations of impressionists and Looney Tunes parodies

Boyer played in three love stories: All This, and Heaven Too (1940) with Bette Davis; as the ruthless cad in Back Street (1941) with Margaret Sullavan; and Hold Back the Dawn (1941) with Olivia de Havilland and Paulette Goddard.


In 1943, he was awarded an Honorary Oscar Certificate for “progressive cultural achievement” in establishing the French Research Foundation in Los Angeles as a source of reference (certificate). Boyer never won an Oscar, though he was nominated for Best Actor four times in Conquest (1937), Algiers (1938), Gaslight (1944) and Fanny (1961), the latter also winning him a nomination for the Laurel Awards for Top Male Dramatic Performance. He is particularly well known for Gaslight in which he played a thief/murderer who tries to convince his newlywed wife that she is going insane.

When another film with Bergman, Arch of Triumph (1948), failed at the box office, he started looking for character parts. Apart from leads in several French films such as Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame de… (1953, again with Danielle Darrieux) and Nana (1955, opposite Martine Carol), he also moved into television as one of the pioneering producers and stars of Four Star Theatre; Four Star Productions would make him and partners David Niven and Dick Powell rich. In 1956, Boyer was a guest star on I Love Lucy.

Onscreen, he continued in older roles: in Fanny (1961) starring Leslie Caron; Barefoot in the Park (1967) with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda; and the French film Stavisky (1974, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo)

Later in life, he turned to character roles in such films as: Around the World in 80 Days (1956), How to Steal a Million (1966, featuring Audrey Hepburn), Is Paris Burning? (1966), and Casino Royale (1967). He had a notable part as a corrupt city official in the 1969 film version of The Madwoman of Chaillot, featuring Katharine Hepburn. His last major film role in Hollywood was that of the High Lama in a poorly received musical version of Lost Horizon (1973). A year later, he gave a final outstanding performance in his native language as Baron Raoul in Alain Resnais’s Stavisky (1974)

Boyer was the husband of British actress Pat Paterson, whom he met at a dinner party in 1934. The two became engaged after two weeks of courtship and were married three months later. Later, they would move from Hollywood to Paradise Valley, Arizona. The marriage lasted 44 years until her death. Boyer became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1942.

Boyer’s only child, Michael Charles Boyer (December 9,1943 – September 21, 1965), committed suicide at age 21. He was playing Russian roulette after separating from his girlfriend. On August 26, 1978, two days after his wife’s death from cancer, and two days before his own 79th birthday, Boyer committed suicide with an overdose of Seconal while at a friend’s home in Scottsdale. He was taken to the hospital in Phoenix, where he died. He was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, alongside his wife and son.

In Our Bookstore

Charles Boyer: The Reluctant Lover