Although Yves Montand is considered one of the stars of French cinema, he was born in Monsummano Terme, Italy, on 13 October 1921. That same year his family had to flee to France to escape from the fascist regime in Italy. They settled in Marseilles, where Montand discovered his passion for stage.
In 1938, he had his first performance as a warm-up artist in a music hall. It was also then that the seventeen-year-old Ivo Livi adopted the stage name “Yves Montand”, which is how his mother used to call him when it was time to go home: “Ivo! Monta!” (Ivo! Upstairs!). Yves became an instant success.
In 1939 he gave his first major concert at the Alcazar, where he performed his own song Dans les plaines du Far West. After the Second World War put a halt to his singing career, he was rediscovered by legendary Edith Piaf, who became his mentor and his lover.
Montand won hearts of millions both as a singer and an actor. His performances at the Théâtre de l’Etoile and the roles in Le Salaire de la peur and Jean de Florette brought him international fame and recognition.