Johnny Hallyday, the French rock star who now and then portrayed laid-back, chain-smoking cool cats in French films from the early ’60s until this year (his last role was in Claude Lelouch‘s Chacun sa vie et son intime conviction), has died at age 74.
If you ask me Hallyday’s most interesting film was Patrice Leconte‘s The Man on the Train (’02), in which he costarred with Jean Rochefort.
I first heard of Hallyday in ’76, during my first trip to Paris. In the late ’90s I almost attended one of his concerts at the Stade de France stadium outside Paris.
Hallyday had intense wolf eyes. He looked like a wolf, howled like a wolf, prowled like a wolf. When he got older he had facial “work” done, and this made him look more wolf-like than some actual wolves in the forest.
Hallyday always seemed to be smoking unfiltered Gauloises cigarettes. If I had to spitball I would guess that he inhaled a bare minimum of 25,000 packs of Gauloises over a 60-year period, or a grand total of 1,500,000 cigarettes from his mid teens onward. At least.