He was born in an Italian family in Lyon, on March 11th, 1934, his ties liked him the body till his end, on October 22nd, 2001 to Bobigny at the age of 67. Italian, inhabitant of Lyon and amateur of soccer, this is the way I knew him in the 1981s. But especially madman, madman of theater, crazy about cinema, desperately turned to a public whom he wanted to make more and more sensitive to the masterful works of the spirit, to the sense where heard him André Malraux, and especially Jean Vilar.
At the exit of the war, it is laborer on construction sites from the age of 14 years. Every moment of freedom, he crosses him at the stage, but also at the cinema. Soccer player or actor, his heart rocks, but it will be an actor, it rises to Paris and knocks in the main entrance: the course Charles Dullin. He will teach it all the tricks of the trade from 1951 till 1953. He is 19 years old, it is Roger Cayatte who reveals him in "Before the deluge". French-Italian movie, which reveals the tensions of the cold war. Five young people, in the widespread panic due to a risk of nuclear war, decide to run away and to take refuge on an island in the depths of the Pacific. Roger Coggio, for his first movie, shares the poster with Bernard Blier, Marina Vlady, among others.
He enchaine in 1955 with Raymond Bernard who adapts Philippe Hériat's novel, "Fruits of the summer", he finds Edwige Feuillère, Pauline Carton and Henri Guisol.1956 there, it is the meeting with Robert Hossein who turns "Forgive our insultswith Marina Vlady, but also Pierre Vaneck, Giani Esposito, Julien Carette, Samy Frey, Roger Dumas, Rosy Varte and Dario Moreno. It is the history of two rival, young bands delinquent against young gypsies!
Then he turns, in 1957, with Léonide Moguy Give "Me my luck, a young woman is discovered in a competition, she leaves her village "to rise" to the city. The distribution is brilliant: Michèle Mercier, Christmas Roquevert, Françoise Brion, Henri Crémieux, Maurice Biraud, Marie-José Nat …
In 23 years he already has beautiful one filmography and especially beautiful meetings. This is when he meets who is going to change the life and especially to give a sense to his love arising from the theater, Jean Vilar welcomes him in the Théâtre National Populaire (TNP) from 1957 till 1960. He encourages him to the direction. Thus he will be of the great adventure of Avignon, we shall say second part.
Vilar created the festival in Avignon in 1947 in the main courtyard of the Popes' Palace. It has been already ten years since joined Jean Vilar: Alain Cuny, Michel Bouquet, Silvia Montfort, Jeanne Moreau, Maria Casarès, Philippe Noiret, Monique Chaumette, Jean Le Poulain, Charles Denner, Georges Wilson and especially … Gérard Philipe, already famous by the cinema, the icon of the French theater, with its roles of Cid and Prince de Hombourg.
By working on the TNP and on the festival of Avignon, Roger Coggio sees increasing in him the idea of the popular theater, which accompany at this moment the youth movements and the laic networks.
So over this period it will play:
- 1957: Henri IV of Luigi Pirandello, staged Jean Vilar, TNP festival of Avignon
- 1957: Murder in the cathedral of Thomas Stearns Eliot, staged Jean Vilar, TNP festival of Avignon
- 1958: Lorenzaccio of Alfred de Musset, staged Gérard Philipe, TNP festival of Avignon
- 1958: Œdipe of André Gide, staged Jean Vilar, TNP, Festival of Bordeaux, Festival of Avignon
- 1959: Murder in the cathedral of Thomas Stearns Eliot, staged Jean Vilar, TNP festival of Avignon
Fed of this epic of the theater Roger Coggio puts on stage and plays "the newspaper of a madman" Nicolas Gogol in 1963. The adventure is considerable, it will carry him all its life, he will go round the world with this room. Even today if the fates of my professional life brings me to evoke the name of Coggio, I fall inevitably on the same remark "ah! Yes I saw him in the newspaper of a Madman, it was unforgettable". He will eventually make for it a movie in 1987, the memory of the shooting, the shooting in Coggio, with the respect for the of which I still have labor-union rules, the price lists and
1968, the revolution of May is going full swing and Roger Coggio turns with Orson Wells "An Immortal history" with Jeanne Moreau.
On 1973 it is also the adventure of "Beautiful" of André Delvaux with Danièle Delorme and Jean-Luc Bideau.
He meets Elisabeth Huppert and realizes some big successes popular as "Silence ... we turn (1976) "We can say it without getting angry (1978) "IIt is still far America" (1979).
We are known shortly after in 1981. He had just turned a masterpiece by adapting Molière's work "the deceits of Scapin". In prey, as he has him was all his life, in horrifying debts, he had come look for André Henry's help, for Secretary of the spare time, the councillor of which I was. It is the beginning of a big friendship, having opened him doors, up to there closed, of the television, he obtained some repurchases of rights which gave him the air which he needed.
That is when we created the Friends of the Popular Cinema (ACP) with for objective to screen the big works of the French theatrical directory. Runner of the report that the Anglo-Saxon had known how to make him for their directory. But the ACP, it is also the history of an original method of prefinancing of movies by the public and a moose or of a return towards the spirit of the popular education. But the 80s were not in mind of the 50s. If he was able to turn or make shoot some movies, he took up with financial difficulties. Its inflexible character and its incapacity to work its relations, isolated him little by little from the world of the cinema. He realized or still produced:
- 1982: The Bourgeois gentleman
- 1984: Daniel Moosmann's false Confidences
- 1985: Monsieur de Pourceaugnac de Michel Mitrani
- 1985: Street of Tony Gatlif's departure
- 1987: The Newspaper of a madman
- 1989: The Crazy Day or the marriage of Figaro
- 1998: I am alive and I love you of Roger Kahane
He settled down in the 1970s to Plessis Luzarches (Val-d'Oise), a house which he acquired to the singer Hugues Auffray situated in the corner, of the street of the City hall and that of the mill. He known her last sentimental great adventure with Fanny Cottençon with which he settles down at the end of the 80s, she shares her passion until coproduce with him her movies about the model of the ATP. She will give him a boy Maxime been born in 1990. The latter since began actor's career, he has 24 the year today, turned in "Section of searches (2013)) for the television, "Host family" (2010) And a television film "As at home" (2010). To the theater, he took up with the loves of his father by playing in "" We do not banter with love " of Alfred de Musset with Annabelle Bril and Ada Grudzinski.
Roger Coggio is caught up by the disease, Fanny Cottençon and their son Maxime accompany him in his last moments.
I shall be lucky enough to see again them last time in November, 2000 to Cabourg, on the occasion of the first European Meeting of the Artists, where I invited him to discuss and to speak about his unique experience in an entitled workshop: "news forms of exercises of artist's job interpreter.
He rests in the small cemetery of the plessis-Luzarches, under a vault of black marble just with in gilded letter his name: Roger Coggio.