Macha Méril is 82 years old (and does not make them): family secrets, mad love and eternal youth

It's hard to imagine Macha Méril celebrating her 82nd birthday on September 3! The actress, in great shape, has known love, success and glory during her life... However, she still has many other dreams to accomplish. Journey of the actress, between divorce and personal dramas, from her desire for children through her mad love with Michel Legrand, but also her tips for not aging and what she thinks of Poutine...

  Macha Méril is 82 years old (and does not make them): family secrets, mad love and eternal youth

Macha Meril turns 82 September 3, 2022… And the actress, still as radiant as ever, is not about to bow out. The sweet actress intends to perpetuate the legacy of her late husband, Michel Legrand , by setting up a festival devoted to musicals and by continuing to pay tribute to the work of the musician. No question of resting on its laurels, therefore. Macha Méril still has a lot to accomplish! (Re)discover the secrets of this artist who lived tribulations, disappointments, loves and joys...

A family descended from the nobility

Maria-Magdalena Vladimirovna Gagarina , his real name, was born in Morocco in 1940 to a mother from the Ukrainian nobility and a father belonging to a Russian princely house, Prince Vladimir Anatolievich Gagarin. After the revolution from Russia in 1917, his parents had taken refuge in France before settle in Morocco , so that his father could work there as an agricultural engineer.

The terrible death of his brother and his father

The little family lives happily under the Moroccan sun, until a terrible drame does not occur when Maria-Magdalena is only 5 years old. ' In 1945, my half-brother, 19 years old, two meter five and the beauty of our father, was sent to the front line on the German border. He was killed the day before the Armistice . Dad wanted his body back. He boarded the first boat and went to Paris where he is dead in turn, struck down by typhus “, she tells Paris Match . After this succession of misfortunes, the little girl and her sisters are shipped in France by their mother, who decides to start a new chapter in their lives.

The choice of his stage name

Maria-Magdalena grew up dreaming of film heroines of the 1950s. When the time came to choose her path, the young woman, passionate about comedy, interrupted her studies in literature to integrate National People's Theater School . He's the director Gerard Oury who offers him his chance by offering him a role in his film The Warm Hand , In 1960.

To start his career on the right foot, he advises him to choose a stage name easier to pronounce for the French public. The budding actress therefore chooses to call herself Macha , diminutive of Maria, and opts for the surname 'Méril', in homage to the American jazz singer, Helen Merrill . From then on, Macha Méril became one of the most remarkable actresses of the New Wave and toured for Claude Lelouch , Maurice Pialat or Alexandre Arcady .

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One for the road. In French we say: A last kiss before the road. A married woman / Jean-Luc Godard / 1964

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His greatest drama? The infertility

At 16, Macha Méril fell under the spell of a rich forties which makes him discover the chic of Parisian evenings. But everything changes when the teenager gets pregnant . Her lover pushes her to surrender in Switzerland to undergo an abortion , since the abortion is not yet legal in France. After the procedure, she learns that she is now sterile . ' There was really like a break in my life which was the day I knew I would never have children “, she told the Divan by Marc-Olivier Fogiel. The actress remains convinced that this ' botched abortion 'is the cause of her sterility, as she recounted in her book, One day I died , published by Albin Michel.

The (furtive) encounter with the love of his life

In 1964, during an evening in a jazz club in Brazil, Macha Méril meets the musician Michel Legrand … and love at first sight is immediate. ' Michael took my hand. Even today, I would be unable to describe to you what I felt. I felt like he was my second self. Our love was dazzling, but chaste “, she told The Obs .

But there is a problem. Michel Legrand is already a father and husband, while Macha Méril must marry another. Without consuming their love, they separate t, persuaded to meet again one day, in another life...

She adopted her stepson

In 1969, the actress spouse Italian film producer Gian Vittorio Baldi , for whom she settled in Rome for a time. ' A marriage of love that helped me to become someone, to build myself. I needed to feel dubbed by society “, she clarified to The Obs .

But family tensions push the couple to separation . ' Without my step mother , which ruined everything, it could have lasted. She was calling my husband at 6am to find out everything I had said and done the night before, and he was telling her everything! And since I had no children ', she recalled to Paris Match .

After their divorce, the actress, who suffers from her sterility, decides to adopt the son of her ex-husband , Gian Guido, become an Italian actor.

Her love story with Stéphane Freiss

At 43, Macha Méril crosses paths with the young actor Stéphane Freiss . Despite the twenty years that separate them, the actors are attracted to each other. So begins a beautiful love story…” I was his pygmalion . I introduced him to literature, cinema, fantasy. To life what! It lasted seven, eight years “, told the actress to Paris Match .

But decidedly, Macha Méril does not manage to seduce the mothers of her companions, since this time again, she is the mother of Stéphane Freiss who rushes the end of their story . ' There too, there was pressure from the mother. My problem this time is that I was not Jewish “, she explained.

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His childhood love found

After his multiple romantic disappointments , Macha Méril decides to be satisfied with being single… until a ghost from her past reappears in her life, to her delight. Michel Legrand , the musician she loved so much during that fiery evening in 1964 in Brazil, reconnected with her in 2014, when Macha Méril was 74 years old. He just lost his wife. She is still single. The stars are finally aligned. Both spend a tender night of love .

' Masha, this time I'm marrying you “, he whispered to him the next day, according to the confidences of the main interested in The Obs . Never mind, their wedding takes place on September 18, 2014. They live a few years of happiness, until Michel Legrand does not breathe his last breath , in the arms of his love, in 2019.

What she thinks of Putin

This daughter of aristocrats who fled Russia in 1917 has a strong opinion on Putin's invasion of Ukraine. ' I think this crisis is going to be the end of Putin. It's like an abscess that needs to burst. He took the step too many, the mistake too many, believing that he could resuscitate a dead Soviet Russia. This guy is crazy. He invaded a foreign land “, she told the Parisian , in February 2022.

Her secret to staying in shape

At 82, Macha Méril remains radiant and fit . The comedian shared some of the secrets of her eternal youth...and they're quite surprising! ' Pass de sport! It's become an industry, they're bugging us with it! All those sweaty people running around and despising us! But on the other hand, you have to be active, do a lot of things. For example, I take the stairs instead of the elevator ', she confided to the microphone of Europe 1. And to add: Second secret: ' You have to sleep, too bad if you sleep more than what is allowed '. It is well noted?

Macha Méril refuses 'confinement'

For Macha Méril, age is also a state of mind! ' I see youth in my eyes. I'm not talking about the one we inherit, or not, from our genes, but about a state that we concoct for ourselves during our existence. “, confided the actress in the book What lives! , written by Vincent Remy and Jean-Philippe Pisanias. And to clarify: ' If certain women end up decrepit, it is because they accept the places of mother or grandmother assigned to them. It is absolutely necessary to refuse this confinement '.