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Yousuf KARSH

Armenia 1908 – United States of America 2002

  • 1925 Canada

Gratien Gelinas 1945 Creation Notes: prtd 1974
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 61.6 h x 91.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 74.396.124
Subject: Portrait: male

‘The French–Canadian actor in his favorite character of Fridolin. As the impertinent “Ti-Coq” and the bewildered “Fridolin”, this gifted French–Canadian actor-playwright-director has endeared himself to generations of Canadian theatre-goers.’ (Karsh)

Born in St-Tite, Quebec, in 1909 and trained as an accountant, Gélinas was vaulted to fame in 1937 through his radio character, Fridolin. The character also launched Gélinas into theatre as the star of comedy revues known as Les Fridolinades, which were huge successes from 1938 to 1946. Fridolin was also the lead role in the 1942 film La Dame aux Camélias, la Vraie, which Gélinas wrote and directed. It was a parody on Dumas’s novel and was the first colour talking film made in Canada. He was the co-founder of La Comédie Canadienne in 1957 and in 1969 he was appointed chairman of the Canadian Film Corporation.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra