Montand was born near Florence. His father was Giovanni Livi, later an active member of the Communist Party. Montand was himself a sympathizer of the party. With his parents, who were on a flight for the fascist regime of Mussolini, he moved to France at a young age.
He spent his childhood in Marseille, where he later went to work, among other things as a hair stylist in the Salon of his older sister, as a port worker and as a nightclub singer.During these performances he took the name "Yves Montand" to. He coined this name by thinking of what his mother once called him when they had dinner: "Ivo, monta!"(Ivo, bowl over!).
From 1938 he garnered had any success in the variety Theatre, in Marseille, Narbonne, Toulouse... In 1939, he performed with its own repertoire in L'Alcazar, a famous former Theatre Hall in Marseille, and he had his first real success song Dans les plaines du Far-West. Further plans to go to Paris and national to break through were thwarted by the outbreak of the Second World War. It was only in 1944, he was given the opportunity to sing in Paris in various music-hall rooms. He was allowed In the Moulin Rouge for Édith Piaf take care. The famous French singer took him under her wing and launched his career. They had a relationship that was discontinued in 1946 by Piaf. Meanwhile made his first recordings for Montand Odeon Records. One of his most important recordings was Yves Montand chante Jacques Prévert (1962).
In the film world, he made his debut in Etoile sans Lumière (Marcel Blistène, 1946) where he played together with Piaf. The same year he was already known to a wider public thanks to, among other things, the poetic drama Les Portes de la nuit (1946) of the tandem Marcel Carné-Jacques Prévert. In that film, sung by Montand Les feuilles mortes song was a great success. International fame came with the lead role in the film Le Salaire de la peur (1953) by Henri-Georges Clouzot. On december 21, 1951, he married actress Simone Signoret. They would stay together until her death in 1985. Together they played together several times, including in a French version of Arthur Miller's The Crucible , both in the stage version as in the film version: Les Sorcières de Salem (Raymond Rouleau, 1957).
In 1959 he moved to the United States. He had a one man show on Broadway and starred in several films, including Let's Make Love (George Cukor, 1960), Sanctuary (Tony Richardson, 1961) and My Geisha(Jack Cardiff, 1962). On the set of the musical Let's Make Love he got a relationship with Marilyn Monroe, which got a lot of attention of the tabloid press. Then noticed he played roles in the crime dramaCompartment tueurs (Costa-Gavras, 1965), in La guerre est finie (Alain Resnais, 1966) and in the Vivre pour vivre relationship drama (Claude Lelouch, 1967). Resnais ' film was about the after effects of theSpanish civil war at an exiled Communist militant. The scenario was written by Jorge Semprún that 10 years later another story rooted in the Spanish civil war devised for Montand in Les Routes du sud (Joseph Losey, 1978). Afterwards he continued his cooperation with the similarly politically engaged filmmaker Costa-Gavras , whom he met on the set of Compartment tueurs had. That resulted in films like Z (1969), L'Aveu(The Confession, 1970) and État de siège (State of Siege, 1973). With the same filmmaker, he also turned the much more romantic and more psychologically tinted film Clair de femme (1979), with opposite Romy Schneider . He was at the height of his productivity and played the lead role in movie Police Python 357 (1975), La Menace (1977) and Le Choix des armes (1981), with the trilogy of Alain Corneau. He gave then also its comical and dramatic talent to the dramatic comedies of Claude Sautet (César et Rosalie ,1972, Vincent, François, Paul ... et les autres, 1974 and Garçon!, 1983) and some comedies of Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Le Sauvage, 1975 and Tout feu, tout flamme, 1982).Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
In the 1980s played a memorable role as the greedy, artful Montand farmer in the two-part film saga to the work of Marcel Pagnol : Jean de Florette (Claude Berri, 1986) and Manon des Sources (Claude Berri, 1986). His last film came out In 1992 , IP5 (Jean-Jacques Beineix).
Montand died in 1991 of a heart attack at the age of 70. He was twice married, with Simone Signoret from 1951 to 1985 and with his assistant Carole Amiel from 1987 until his death. He has one son, Valentin Montand with Carole, born in 1988.
The unknown actress Anne Fleurange claimed a child from him, and filed a lawsuit for a DNAtest. Montand denied the father and refused a DNA test. The woman, however, after his death remained Montand. A court ruling that the woman initially in the same. In 1998 Yves Montand's body was excavated. The DNA test showed that he was not the father.
In 2004, Catherine Allégret, actress Montands stepdaughter and a daughter from her first marriage, Signorets book (Un monde à l'envers/the world upside down ISBN 2-253-11442-1) in which they claimed that Montand had sexually abused her from her fifth year.
Montand is buried in the famous Père-Lachaisecemetery. (div. 44)
- Étoile sans Lumière (1946)
- Les Portes de la nuit (1946)
- L'Auberge Rouge (1951)
- Le Salaire de la Peur (1953)
- Les Sorcières de Salem (1957)
- Let's Make Love (1960)
- Sanctuary (1961)
- Goodbye Again (1961)
- Aimez-vous Brahms? (1961)
- My Geisha (1962)
- Compartment tueurs (1965)
- La Guerre est finie (1966)
- Grand Prix (1966)
- Paris brûle-t-il? (1966)
- Vivre pour vivre (1967)
- Un soir, un train (1968)
- Le Diable par la queue (1968)
- Z (1969) by Costa-Gavras
- L'Aveu (1970)
- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)
- Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
- La Folie des Grandeurs (1971)
- César et Rosalie (1972)
- Tout va bien (1972)
- État de siège (1973)
- Vincent, François, Paul ... et les autres (1974)
- Le Sauvage (1975)
- Police Python 357 (1976)
- La Menace (1977)
- Les Routes du sud (1978)
- I. .. comme Icare (1979)
- Clair de femme (1979)
- Le Choix des Armes (1981)
- Tout feu, tout flamme (1982)
- Garcon! (1983)
- Jean de Florette (1986)
- Manon des Sources (1986)
- IP5: L ' île aux pachydermes (1992)
- Hervé Hamon & Patrick Rotman: Tu vois n'ai pas oublié, you, (1990), Paris, Editions du Seuil & Editions Fayard (authorized biography)