Talented Entertainer Gad Elmaleh
Born in Casablanca on April 19, 1971, Gad Elmaleh is an actor and comedian of French-Moroccan descent who has had roles in a number of films as well as enjoying success as a stand-up comedian. His talents also include singing and voice-overs for animated films. Reportedly based on his own life, Elmaleh’s first one-man show, titled Décalages, was performed at the Palais des Glaces 1997. His first cinema role was in 1996 in the full-length feature Salut Cousin!, by Algerian screenwriter and film director Merzak Allouache.
Elmaleh was raised in a household that gave him access to a mix of cultural influences and he speaks both French and Moroccan Arabic. He was educated in Morocco, first at the Georges Bizet School and later at Lycée Lyautey in Casablanca. In 1988, he left Morocco to live in Montreal, Canada, for four years where he studied political science for a year and also worked on radio. He started writing humorous stories which he performed in nightclubs and discovered he had a talent for entertaining people, launching him on a career which continues today.
Following the success of his first one-man show, Décalages, Gad Elmaleh’s second one-man show La Vie Normale proved to be a huge success. The character of the transvestite Chouchou was used in the film comedy of the same name in 2002, which was directed by Merzak Allouche, starring Elmaleh and earning him a nomination for the César Award for Best Actor. In 2004 he starred in the film Olé! along with Gérard Depardieu, and in 2005 he played the role of François Pignon in La Doublure (The Valet). Also in 2005, Elmaleh returned to the stage with a one-man show L’autre c’est moi, in which he deviated from his previous show format by interacting with the audience and improvising his dialogue.
In 2006 the actor appeared in Horse de prix with French actress Audrey Tautou. Later that year he took to the stage with L’autre, c’est moi which he performed in Montreal, on Broadway and in Casablanca, before taking the show to France, Belgium and Switzerland in 2007. As part of the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal in July 2007, Elmaleh premiered his latest production, Papa est en Haut (Dad is upstairs). In 2009, Elmaleh wrote, produced and acted in the film Coco which was based on a his successful one-man show La Vie Normale, and it turned out to be a box-office success. In 2011, the actor had a role in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris as well as appearing in the film The Adventures of Tintin and as Al Pacino’s French cook in the film Jack & Jill. No doubt fans are looking forward to future endeavors by the Moroccan-born actor and comedian Gad Elmaleh.