Finding international fame with his role as the producer of a film within a film in François Truffaut's acclaimed Day for Night (1973), French actor Jean Champion would become one of France's most celebrated and dependable character actors. With roles in such popular films as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and the cult TV series Belphegor, Champion would deeply ingrain himself into French film history by working with some of the most celebrated directors of his time and moving effortlessly between roles in television and film.
Born in Chalon-sur-Saone, France, in March 1914, Champion began refining his love for acting on stage, performing with such theater greats as Jacques Copeau and Georges Piteoff before making his eventual transition into film and television. For nearly 30 years, he would appear in the films of such acclaimed French directors as Luis Bunuel (The Phantom of Liberty ), Alain Resnais (Muriel ), and Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). Champion made his final film appearance in Roger Vadim's television adaptation of playwright Sacha Guitry's My Father Was Right in 1996.
Plagued with health problems later in life, Jean Champion died in the same town he was born in, on May 23, 2000. He was 87.