Jean Lapointe, singer, actor and retired Canadian senator, dies at 86

Jean Lapointe, the beloved Quebec singer, actor and comedian who was later appointed to the Senate, has died at the age of 86.

The foundation he created announced on Friday his death from health complications in a palliative care home in Montreal, surrounded by his loved ones.

Born in Price, a village in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Lapointe began his career as a teenager on Quebec radio.

In 1955, he founded the Jérolas with Jérôme Lemay.

The popular duo mixed music, humor and impersonations, leading them to performances on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963 and at the famous Olympia in Paris.

The Jérolas separated in 1974 when Lapointe and Lemay embarked on a solo career.

Lapointe was successful on his own in music as well as comedy throughout the 1970s and 1980s, stringing together hits such as sing your song, You juggle my life and If we sang together.

In 1981, he won the Félix, Quebec music prize, for concert of the year.

He was also a gifted actor and had a film career alongside his other feats, starting with Jul 871 alongside Lemay in 1966. Her role in the 2004 film The last tunnel by Érik Canuel won a Genie award and a Jutra award the same year.

In 2000, the Quebec humor awards gala Les Olivier awarded him a tribute prize. Another tribute was paid to him at the Just for Laughs gala in 2005, marking his 50th anniversary with the company.

Jérôme Lemay, on the left, and Jean Lapointe, on the right, formed the Jérolas from 1955 to 1974. (Radio-Canada)

Lapointe was appointed to the Senate in 2001 by former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, serving as a Liberal until his retirement at age 75 in 2010. Lapointe received many honors during his life, including his appointment to the Order of Canada in 1984 and his appointment as an officer. of the National Order of Quebec in 2006.

Lapointe struggled with alcoholism in the 1960s but managed to pull through, and in 1982 he established a halfway house for people struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction, La Maison Jean Lapointe. Last month, the foundation and treatment center celebrated their 40th anniversary.

“Our father has always said that his greatest pride has always been Maison Jean Lapointe,” his daughter Anne Elizabeth Lapointe, the treatment center’s general manager, said in a statement.

“His departure saddens us, but we know that he will remain the soul of our establishment.”

Lapointe is survived by his wife, Mercedes, and his seven children, two grandsons and two sisters.

“The loss of our father is a terrible ordeal, but knowing that his artistic and humanist legacy will live on in the hearts of Quebecers comforts us,” said his son Jean-Marie Lapointe in a press release.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement saying Lapointe’s legacy will be remembered for generations and will be remembered for “his many contributions to the Canadian artistic community, his philanthropy and his service to Canadians in as a former senator.

“His performances were ahead of their time, filled with his signature wit and good-natured humor,” Trudeau said.

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