resim 157
resim 157

It’s a story worthy of a real thriller. In 1969, the actor Louis de Funès was at the height of his glory. At the time, he already had many great masterpieces of French cinema to his credit, including the Gendarmes saga, Fantomas, La Grande Vadrouille alongside Bourvil and Le Corniaud.

Such success that he was the victim of kidnapping blackmail, as revealed by his sons Olivier and Patrick de Funès in their book Ne parle pas trop de moi, les enfants, published by Le Cherche Midi in 2013. This incredible The story began after a phone call to his home one evening in 1969. In this call, the blackmailer threatens the actor, asking him for no less than five million francs, otherwise his “sons will suffer the consequences”. A threat taken very seriously by Louis de Funès who had received an anonymous letter a few days earlier at his home.

Quickly, “two bodyguards are in charge of never letting go of us,” explained Olivier de Funès. But a second and then a third phone call will speed things up. The kidnapper wants the police to stay out of this case and that the requested sum be deposited by his wife in the cloakroom of the Dupont-Montparnasse brasserie.

“Courageous, my mother accepted without hesitation. The next day, ignoring all the risks, she jumped into a taxi, armed with a package wrapped in kraft paper”, explains Olivier de Funès. The wife of Louis de Funès finally deposits the sum at the chosen place before leaving, under the gaze of her son who, defying the ban, had decided to follow her. New twist a few hours later, the police “surrounded the one who came to pick up the package”. It is about a taxi driver who was “supposed to bring the money to a hotel on Boulevard Raspail”. The real blackmailer won’t “show up anymore”.

Who is the one who threatened the family of Funès? It would be a man named Jacques Robert, “released for psychiatric reasons after an attempted kidnapping of Johnny Hallyday”. Three months after this extortion attempt, the man finally surrendered to the police. He will do his own again in 1970 when he enters the property of the de Funès in order to make his mea culpa. “I’m sorry to have caused you any harm, believe me. But you know, life is hard when you get out of prison. And here… I’m a little dry, you know?” he said. He will finally be taken back to the exit by the wife of Louis de Funès.