Actor. Born Max Algop Maxudian in Smyrna in what is now Turkey, Maxudian, who was of Armenian, not Turkish, origin, moved with his family to France in 1893. He began his acting career on the stage, appearing at the Grand Guignol and the Odéon theaters. It was reportedly Sarah Bernhardt, with whom Maxudian often worked, who interested Maxudian in the cinema, when she herself began to appear in films.
   Maxudian's silent career was fairly prestigious. He appeared largely in Film d'art productions and was quite often the lead actor in the films in which he appeared. He made his screen debut in Henri Desfontaines and Louis Mercanton's Les Amours de la reine Elisabeth (1912), a film in which he appeared opposite Bernhardt. He also starred in Desfontaines and Mercanton's Adrienne Lecouvreur (1913), also opposite Bernhardt, as well as their film Anne de Boleyn (1913). Other silent films in which he starred include Mercanton and René Hervil's Le Tablier blanc (1917) and Bouclette (1918), Jean Hervé's Le Pauvre village (1917), Mercanton's Phroso (1922) and Venus (1929), Charles de Marsan and Charles Maudru's Les Premières armes de Rocambole (1923), Abel Gance's La Roue (1923) and Napoléon (1927), Rex Ingram's The Arab (1924), Henry Roussel's La Terre promise (1925), and Jacques de Baroncelli's Le Réveil (1925). Maxudian was also a particular favorite of director Roger Lion. He appeared first in Lion's Portuguese films A Sereia de Pedra (1923) and Os Olhos da Alma (1924). He went on to appear also in Lion's La Fontaine de l'amour (1924), J'ai tué! (1924), and La Clé de voûte (1925), Un soir au cocktail's bar (1929), La Nuit est à nous (1929), and L'Appel de la chair (1929).
   Beginning during the silent era and continuing on into the sound era, Maxudian, like his contemporary, Marcel Dalio, began to be typecast as the foreigner, the Arab, or the Jew, and sometimes, therefore, the villain of the piece. It is probably also the case, as it was with Dalio, that he was a much better actor than many of the roles afforded him would suggest. This trend to typecast him began in the silent era but continued long into his performances in sound films.
   During the 1930s and 1940s, Maxudian appeared in more than thirty films, including Gaston Ravel's L'étranger (1930), Henri Fescourt's La Maison de la flèche (1930), Charles de Rochefort's Le Secret du docteur (1930), Pierre Billon's Nuits de Venise (1931) and Bourrasque (1935), Gabriel Rosca's Rocambole (1932), Lion's Direct au coeur (1932), codirected with Arnaudy, and his Trois balles dans la peau (1933), Leo Mittler's La Voix sans visage (1933), Julien Duvivier's Golgotha (1935), Viktor Tourjansky's Les Yeux noirs (1935) and Puits en flammes (1936), René Pujol's Passé à vendre (1936), Maurice de Canonge's Un soir à Marseille (1937), André Hugon's La Rue sans joie (1938), and Dimitri Kirsanoff's L'Avion de minuit (1938).
   Maxudian's career more or less ended during the 1940s. After the Occupation, he was not permitted to act in film because of his foreign origin. After Liberation, he appeared in a handful of films, including Claude Autant-Lara's Le Diable au corps (1946), Raymond Leboursier's Le Furet (1949), and Francis Campaux's Ronde de nuit (1949). However, he was not able to recapture the momentum his career had had prior to the war. He retired from the screen in 1950.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

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