The Lot also mourns Bebel. In Soucirac, the home village of his ex-wife Elodie Constant, Jean-Paul Belmondo had his ties. Lucienne Dalet, her former sister-in-law fondly remembers the man who spent his time making the “guignolo”.
Nothing predestined Jean-Paul Belmondo to land in the Lot one day if it was not the coincidence of love. In Soucirac, 102 inhabitants, the grief is great. There, in a stone building, still lives her 92-year-old former sister-in-law, Lucienne Dalet. Because the Lot village saw the birth of Renée-Elodie Constant, Bebel’s first wife, who would become Elodie. “They met on the set of the film Les tricheurs à Paris, it was in 1958, my sister was dancing in a group”, remembers the retiree. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Elodie Constant, who has just been elected “most beautiful legs in Juan-les-Pins”, fall in love. “The first time my sister introduced him to me, he offered me tickets to go see Jean-Roger Caussimon at the theater,” continues Lucienne.
Kidneys with Porto de Lucienne
She also lives in Paris and shares party nights and shows with the couple. With them, she meets Guy Bedos, Jean Gabin, Jean-Pierre Marielle and Jean Rochefort. Beautiful people. But not worldly: “It was not so much the elite, we especially frequented an artistic microcosm where Jean-Paul felt like a fish in water, he was not rolling over gold, he just wanted to laugh “. At the time, Bebel the unloved comedian had a hard time filling the bowl. “He was a bon vivant, he liked good food, I cooked him kidneys in Port, he loved it, one day he said to me: you, if you don’t know what to do with your life, you will open either a restaurant is a flea market “, Lucienne slips. She opened both, years later, in Soucirac.
The fight at Gourdon
Jean-Paul Belmondo becomes the godfather of Lucienne’s son, Frédéric. “On the day of the baptism, he talked about boxing with the priest throughout the ceremony, they almost forgot to talk about religion,” she says. Another day, she remembers: “He was climbing the wall to go home to rue Victor Considerant in Paris, the neighbors alerted the gendarmes, thinking he was a burglar, he replied: I still have the right to go home where I want “. Another day, he tells her that he returned from the Côte d’Azur to Paris, stashed in a potato truck. And one night: “He had immersed himself fully dressed in his bathtub filled with water with Jean Gabin, my sister was annoyed”. Lucienne is attached to this outspoken brother-in-law, broken mouth and companion of silly things: “He grimaced, played the guignolo and imitated Michel Simon, it was to twist with laughter”.
Jean-Paul and Elodie get married in the privacy of the church of Saint-Germain-les-Prés. His wife from Lot bought the house La Mariane, on the outskirts of Soucirac, a beautiful typical stone house from Quercy where she moved in with their three children Patricia, Florence and Paul. Bebel then landed in the Lot, between two shoots. “He had acquired his habits, read La Dépêche du Midi, went to get his bread in Vigan, to dine at Chez Chambon at the Pont de l’Ouysse and to drink a beer at the Le divan café in Gourdon. “One afternoon, he fought in front of the whole cafe terrace with a man who had moved with Elodie, the Gourdonnais still remember”, smiles Lucienne.
The love story lasts twelve years. Then one day, Bebel the daredevil breaks Lucienne’s sister’s heart. Élodie will never forgive him. She left the Lot for a long time and now lives discreetly in Aygues-Mortes. Lucienne, she keeps in memory the grimaces of the clown. When she saw it on TV Monday night in Itinerary of a spoiled child, she had the impression that he was in front of her, at the table, like sixty years ago.
Elodie Constant, the companion of moments of bohemianism and glory
Elodie Constant was born in 1934 in Soucirac in the inn which now serves as town hall and which her father Raoul and her mother Germaine kept. After her schooling at the “Sacré Coeur” school in Gourdon, she moved to Paris where, at the end of the 1960s, she attended as a professional dancer, the cellars of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and was part, among others, choirs by Gilbert Bécaud. Later, on the set of the film “The Tribulations of a Chinese in China”, the French actor succumbs to the charm of his playing partner Ursula Andress, but will remain an exemplary presence towards his children and his wife by returning very often in the Lot. Because all roads lead to the Lot. Indeed, a few months ago, Elodie, who lives in Aigues-Mortes, going to lunch with her sister Lucienne and her husband, in Peyrilles, will be surprised to discover there, on the restaurant’s guestbook, a dedication of his son, Paul, who had come for lunch a few months earlier after a shooting session for a sports car brand.