BirthChampigny-sur-Marne, France (1923)
French puppeteer, a virtuoso of the string puppet. At the end of his life Louis Valdès had achieved remarkable international success. He performed in cabarets around the world and participated in major television shows, including La Piste aux Étoiles (The Way to the Stars), and the Ed Sullivan Show. He performed as a soloist with large string puppets (more than a metre high) which he manipulated in view. The complexity of his controls and the virtuosity of his manipulation were never more important than the emotion and the gaiety of his smaller pieces. Among the most memorable of his marionette characters was his merry “Pierrot”, saddened by the realization that he is being manipulated, the “stripper” with the features of Brigitte Bardot, and the “juggler”, a wonderful construction of four puppets united on a single suspension.