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Francis Blanche

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Active in the French cinema from 1942 until his death in 1974, Francis Blanche is a French actor who was also active as a dramatist and singer. Born July 21, 1921, in Paris, France, he made his film debut in 1942 in the Jean Boyer film Frédérica. Though he was only sporadically active in the French cinema during the 1940s, he was highly active in the 1950s and remained so until his death in 1974, appearing in over 100 films during this span of time. Also in the 1950s he collaborated with humorist Pierre Dac on the long-running radio drama Signé Furax, which aired popularly on the station Europe 1 throughout the late '50s. Blanche and Dac first collaborated on the radio drama Malheur aux Barbus!, which ran for 213 episodes between 1951 and 1952. This was followed by Signé Furax: Le Boudin Sacré (1956-1957), Signé Furax: La Lumière Qui Éteint! (1957-1958), Signé Furax: Le Gruyère Qui Tue! (1958-1959), and Le Fils de Furax (1959-1960). In subsequent decades, these radio dramas would be re-aired from time to time, enhancing their legacy as some of the most memorable French radio dramas of the 1950s. In later years, these Blanche-Dac radio dramas would be compiled for release on CD by the label EPM in a series of collector's edition boxed sets, including a round of 15-disc collections in 2004 followed by three-volume sets of five-disc collections in 2005, and subsequently they would be broken up further for digital release. In addition, the Blanche-Dac drama Les Fabuleux Méfaits de Furax from 1962 was compiled in a double-disc set in 2005. Compilations of Blanche's musical performances as a vocalist were also released every now and then. One of the more widely available is the BMG/Vogue collection L'Inoubliable: 18 Grands Succès (1994). ~ Jason Birchmeier

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