Andrée Tainsy, 1911-2004

A brief look at one particular year in the career of Belgian actor Andrée Tainsy, born in Etterbeek 112 years ago today, on 26 April 1911. She trained in Paris in the mid-1930s where she fell in love with the singer Jane Bathori, thirty-four years older; they stayed together until Jane’s death in 1970. Together they fled the Nazis to Argentina, where they set up a French theater in exile; back in Paris after the war, Andrée kept acting until the end of her life (she lived to be 93). She appears uncredited in Woody Allen’s Love and Death.

In 1967, the year that she turned 56, Andrée Tainsy was a well established character actor in France, and thanks to IMDB we know what TV shows she appeared in. Her big project that year was a French TV version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, shown on 24 October, where she plays Hedda’s husband’s aunt Julie.

She also appeared on 18 July 1967 in an episode of a historical crime docudrama series, En votre âme et conscience, as Anne Dumollard, wife and accomplice of the nineteenth-century serial killer Martin Dumollard.

Here she is in video, in an episode of the show Allô police, shown on 20 June, where she plays a grumpy concierge (from 12:06):

I have a smaller picture of her from one more crime show episode that she filmed that year, as the dodgy nanny in a kidnap story from Malican père et fils, shown on 24 July:

I’m posting this because I was born on Andrée Tainsy’s 56th birthday in 1967, and today is my 56th birthday. I think she wore her years well, and I hope I have the energy to keep going until I am 93!

I think I prefer her to another figure born on the same day, Paul Verner, who became the second most important man in the Communist regime of East Germany. Here he is receiving a delegation of the Free German Youth in 1967:

More positively, the noted photographer Max Yavno was also born on 26 April 1911. Here is his photograph “California Street”, from 1967:

Also born on that day: minor Belgian politician Werner Marchand, Dutch-American artist Kurt Sluizer, Austrian archaeologist Gilbert Trathnigg, Corsican criminal Auguste Ricord, American ecologist Frank Edwin Egler, and Canadian-American journalist A.H. Raskin.

26 April 1911 was also the day that Albanian chieftains declared independence in the northern village of Orosh, and Australians rejected two referendums on strengthening their federal government. The F.A. Cup Final, replayed after a draw on 22 April, was won 1-0 by Bradford City, beating Newcastle United. Aren’t you glad you know that?