Actor Gérard Filippelli and guitarist of Les Charlots died Tuesday at the age of 78 according to his on-screen friend, Jean Sarrus.

Les Charlots, a humorous collective from the 1970s, notably composed the songs "Paulette, the queen of paupiettes" and "Merci Patron!".

They appear in the films of Claude Zidi, Alain Basnier or even Jean-Pierre Desagnat. 

The actor Gérard Filippelli, great echalas of Charlots, schoolboy and popular group which brightened up the French comedy cinema of the 1970s, died Tuesday at 78 years old, announced to AFP one of his accomplices on the screen, Jean Sarrus.

"It's a huge page that is turned. We were more than a bunch of friends. We were a family. We watched our children grow up. From our 20s to our 40s, we experienced total recklessness in the cinema or on stage by our songs ", declared Jean Serrus, specifying that the actor had succumbed to cancer, at the Argenteuil hospital, in Val-d'Oise.

Authors of the song

Merci Patron!

, reused by François Ruffin

Filippelli, the guitarist of this musical band (

Paulette, the queen of paupiettes


Merci Patron !

, reused by François Ruffin in his film ...) and humorous, has appeared in all their films including "Bidasses en Folie", released in 1971 and which attracted 7 million spectators.

Les Charlots had six main members, of which one of the best known, Gérard Rinaldi, died in 2012. At first accompanying singer Antoine under the name of "Problèmes", they became "Les Charlots" in 1966 and became get to know the general public with parodies and bawdy songs, before launching on the big screen.

Collaborations with Claude Zidi and Alain Basnier at the cinema

It is the director Philippe Clair who will make the Charlots the stars of his second film "La grande java" marking their debut in the cinema where they will collaborate on numerous occasions with Claude Zidi.

From "Grand Bazar", "Fous du stade" to "Charlots en délire" by Alain Basnier or "Charlots contre Dracula" by Jean-Pierre Desagnat, the group will make around fifteen films.