Artist

Jamel Debbouze

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Jamel Debbouze is a French and Moroccan actor, comedian, and producer

Debbouze was born in Paris, France, but his family, from Taza, moved back to Morocco the following year. They returned in 1979 and settled in Trappes in 1983, in the Paris region, where Debbouze spent the rest of his childhood. He is the eldest of six siblings: Jamel, Mohamed, Hayat, Karim, Rachid and Nawel Debbouze.

On 17 January 1990, at the train station in Trappes, he was struck by a passing train travelling at 150 km/h. He lost the use of his right arm, while another young man, Jean-Paul Admette, the son of the singer Michel Admette from Reunion, died. Debbouze was sued by the victim’s family for manslaughter but the case was dismissed for lack of proof, most of the witnesses retracting. In December 2004, he was going to perform on stage on the French island of Réunion, but Debbouze cancelled, claiming illness, as Michel Admette’s parents had organized a demonstration against his arrival.

In 1995, he was spotted by the bosses of Radio Nova, Jacques Massadian and Jean-François Bizot, who made him famous (Jacques Massadian would become his manager). He debuted on Radio Nova, with a film review show, Le Cinéma de Jamel and on television around 1996-1997 on cable channel Paris Première, in a TV show co-produced by Radio Nova and the channel. He took Le Cinéma de Jamel to television on Canal+ in 1998. On the same channel, he contributed to another show, H, along with Éric Judor and Ramzy Bedia.

He played in the movies Zonzon (1998), international box-office hit Amélie (2001), domestic hit Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cléopâtre (2002), and Angel-A, directed by Luc Besson (2005).

In 2006, he played in the historical movie Indigènes (which he co-produced), paying tribute to the North-African soldiers who fought for France during WW2. For this movie, he got the prize for best male actor at the 59th edition of the Cannes Film Festival with Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila and Bernard Blancan.

In April 2008, Debbouze opened a Comedy Club in Paris, aimed at launching newcomers on the stand-up scene.

On 29 March 2008 Debbouze became engaged to French journalist and news anchor Mélissa Theuriau; the two married on 7 May 2008.

In 2009, he collaborated with the rap band 113 and Awa Imani for the project Maghreb United of Rim'K'.

On 1 December 2010 his new DVD named Made in Jamel featuring the likes of Gad Elmaleh, Florence Foresti, Elie Semoun, Stromae, Didier Bourdon, Noureddine Oussayah and Sophie Mounicot was released.
His next show, Jamel improvise, debuted in January 2011,[7] before playing every evenings Tout sur Jamel from 1 January to 20 January at the Casino de Paris.
He was the chairman of the César Awards 2013.
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