(Paris) French actor and singer Guy Marchand, famous for his role as detective Nestor Burma on television, died Friday at the age of 86, his children announced to AFP.

Guy Marchand played this Parisian detective character created by the novelist Léo Malet, in a television series from 1991 to 2003.

He “passed away peacefully this Friday […] at Cavaillon hospital,” his children Jules and Ludivine said in a press release.

The actor had everything to succeed in this role of private investigator in contact with the modest people of Paris: a native of the capital, he had grown up in the popular district of Belleville.

Born in Belleville is also the title of his latest album, in 2020.

His deep voice had first led him towards singing, which he loved very much, he who had played the clarinet in the clubs of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the good times of the post-war period. His big hit was La Passionata in 1965.

It was in cinema that he finally broke through, playing secondary roles under the eye of great directors.

To his credit, he has several nominations for the César for best supporting role. He obtained this reward once, in 1982, when he played one of the police officers in Garde à vue by Claude Miller, where Lino Ventura played the main role.

For viewers, he is inseparable from his role as Nestor Burma, an investigator with a dark hat and untied tie.

“Nestor Burma, that’s me, with added courage. I am much more timid than him in life,” he explained in 2000.

Léo Malet himself, who at the end of his life had seen the series move further and further away from the plot of his novels, remained very attached to the actor and had confided to him: “You, you are my Nestor Burma.”

Guy Marchand declared in 2019 that he was ending his life ruined, in this town of Cavaillon where he spent his old age. “I’m in the red,” he explained to the magazine Voici.