Adolphe Menjou

D.O.B: Feb 18, 1890 |  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

40Credit Score

The words suave and debonair became synonymous with the name Adolphe Menjou in Hollywood, both on- and off-camera. The epitome of knavish, continental charm and sartorial opulence, Menjou, complete with trademark waxy black mustache, evolved into one of Hollywoods most distinguished of artists and fashion plates, a tailor-made scene-stealer, if you will.

Biography

The words suave and debonair became synonymous with the name Adolphe Menjou in Hollywood, both on- and off-camera. The epitome of knavish, continental charm and sartorial opulence, Menjou, complete with trademark waxy black mustache, evolved into one of Hollywoods most distinguished of artists and fashion plates, a tailor-made scene-stealer, if you will. What is often forgotten is that he was primed as a matinée idol back in the silent-film days. With hooded, slightly owlish eyes, a prominent nose and prematurely receding hairline, he was hardly competition for Rudolph Valentino, but he did possess the requisite demeanor to confidently pull off a roguish and magnetic man-about-town. Fluent in six languages, Menjou was nearly unrecognizable without some type of formal wear, and he went on to earn distinction as the nations best dressed man nine times. Born on February 18, 1890, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was christened Adolphe Jean Menjou, the elder son of a hotel manager. His Irish mother was a distant cousin of novelist / poet James Joyce (Ulysses) (1882-1941). His French father, an émigré, eventually moved the family to Cleveland, where he operated a chain of restaurants. He disapproved of show business and sent an already piqued Adolphe to Culver Military Academy in Indiana in the hopes of dissuading him from such a seemingly reckless and disreputable career. From there Adolphe was enrolled at Stiles University prep school and then Cornell University. Instead of acquiescing to his fathers demands and obtaining a engineering degree, however, he abruptly changed his major to liberal arts and began auditioning for college plays. He left Cornell in his third year in order to help his father manage a restaurant for a time during a family financial crisis.