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LGBT People of History 15 - Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (1889 – 1963) was a person of contradictions and a leading light in the avant-garde artistic movement in France in the early part of the twentieth century. He counted the likes of Picasso, Modigliani, Proust, Jean Marais, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Sergei Diaghilev and Nijinsky amongst his friends and lovers.
He was born in Yvelines near Paris to a well-to-do family. When grown up and having served as a Red Cross ambulance driver in WW1, he started to exert his influence in the Parisian artistic circles. He was active in poetry, art, film-making, dance and writing. Perhaps his most famous and influential works were the book Les Enfants Terribles and the movies La Belle et La Bête and Orphee.
In the 1920s he became and opium addict for a time and then became involved in the surrealist movement. His politics were to the right and he was convinced that Adolf Hitler was a pacifist, although he did help some Jewish friends to escape.
Cocteau was openly gay and had many lovers during his life. The most important and longest lasting relationship was with Jean Marais, an actor who starred in many of his movies. His other major relationship was with Edouard Dermit, who was actually adopted by Cocteau.
He was made a member of the Academie francaise and created a Commander of the Legion d’Honneur. He died of a heart attack after hearing of the death of his close friend Edith Piaf.
Ian and Callum.
Thanks to Wikipedia.
Here is a link to all of our Hubs on LGBT People of History:
- LGBT People Of History Collection
Here are the links to each of the LGBT People Of History hubs that Ian and I have wrote. As mentioned above, each time a new one is published you will find it on here.