|A Charmer s Life Well, according to Edward Behr in this repetitive, overly detailed but generally sympathetic biography, all the above unpleasantness was just about par for the career oriented, self absorbed package that was Maurice Chevalier. Born in 1888 in a Parisian slum, Maurice Chevalier was the third of three sons of an alcoholic housepainter, who skipped when the lad was 7. (Chevalier told an earlier biographer his father had died.) More truthfully, Chevalier claimed his mother was the only woman he ever loved. That, at least, we can believe; Chevalier s attitude toward the opposite sex would give "womanizer" a good name which, come to think of it, it probably still has in France anyway. Little Maurice began his career at a ridiculously early age, hamming it up in nearby music halls and sleazy "cafe concerts." Later, tall, handsome, and with that heart stopping grin, he would cultivate lover/leading ladies, most of whom, in the beginning, were more famous than he. Vaudevillian stars such as Frehel and especially Mistinguett, taught him how to dress, talk, dance, sing. And he was a quick study. Success followed him there in 1928, but he feuded with co star Jeanette air max leopard MacDonald, a "prude" who objected to his incessant "bottom pinching." That little quirk aside, winks Behr, "Chevalier s conduct on the set was exemplary." (This book could only have been written by a man.) But despite his immense wealth and fame, not to mention all kids nike air max those "sexual conquests," the selfish star was unhappy. (And if you think this biography is tough, just read contemporaries like Colette on Chevalier. Ironically, it was HIS role in the 1957 movie "Gigi," adapted from HER story that sealed nike free run 2 the actor s film immortality.) He married once miserably. And his spasms of "black dog" melancholia followed him back to France accompanied by increasing breakdowns even a suicide attempt as he aged. Nevertheless, Maurice Chevalier women nike free run s remarkably flexible talent flourished from the Belle Epoque to the swinging 60s, encompassing the tricky shift from silent films to "talkies." It survived the Depression and two World Wars. Indeed Behr, a renowned journalist, is at his best nike free 5.0 blue depicting the political and social realities of France during and immediately after the German occupation. Moreover, despite all his hokeyness, Chevalier s quintessential French elegance and intellect were real and somehow seep through what otherwise might be but isn t 428 depressing pages. Far from a hatchet job, Behr is obviously fascinated by Maurice Chevalier. I am fascinated by him. You will be fascinated by him.