Grégoire Aslan

Grégoire Aslan

Born Krikor Aslanian
(1908-03-28)28 March 1908
Died 8 January 1982(1982-01-08) (aged 73)
Cornwall, England, UK
Resting place Neuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery
Other names Coco Aslan
Occupation Actor
Years active 1935-1982
Spouse(s) Denise Noël (1948-1955) (divorced); Ann Wigzell (195? - separated but not divorced)

Grégoire Aslan (Coco) (28 March 1908 – 8 January 1982) was an ethnic Armenian actor and musician.[1]

Early life

Born Krikor Aslanian in Switzerland or in Constantinople, according to different sources, Aslan made his professional début at 18 as a vocalist, trumpeter and drummer[2] with the Paris dance band of Ray Ventura et ses Collegiens, then launched an acting career under the name of Coco Aslan. He also performed with the famed Django Reinhardt.[3] From 1948 to 1955 he was married to French theatre actress Denise Noel.[4]


His first film appearance was uncredited in Marc Didier's 1935 Le Bille de mille.[5] His first credited appearance was in Feux de joie (1939), along with conductor Ventura.[6] During World War II he toured South America with actor Louis Jouvet and eventually started his own theatre troupe.[7] He became an indispensable feature in many British and American films, usually playing foreigners – Russians, Frenchmen, Italians, Germans, Albanians and Middle Easterners – with equal finesse.

Aslan's more prominent screen appearances include gangster boss Duca in Joe MacBeth (1955), King of Kings (1961) as Herod, and Cleopatra (1963) as Porthinos. In 1961, in The Devil at 4 O'Clock, alongside Frank Sinatra and Spencer Tracy, he portrayed Marcel, a criminal who finds repentance by giving his life to save children from being killed by a volcanic eruption on a South Sea island. In Paris When It Sizzles (1964), he played a police chief. He played another police chief in The Return of the Pink Panther (1975). He appeared in over 110 film and TV roles.[8] He also appeared on the French stage in productions from 1946 to 1981.[9]


Aslan died of a heart attack in Cornwall, England.

Selected filmography


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