PIERRE “CAJE” JALBERT 1925-2014

Caje cloud star small

REST IN PEACE PIERRE

January 9, 1925 – January 22, 2014 Pierre Jalbert, Captain of the 1948 Canadian Olympic Ski Team, actor, film editor and ADR specialist, passed away at age 89 in Los Angeles on January 22nd, following complications from a recent heart attack. A native of Quebec City, he moved to Los Angeles in 1952, and became a film and dialogue editor at Universal and MGM. Credits include Blackboard Jungle, Bad Day at Black Rock, Ben Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty, An American in Paris, Tea and Sympathy, Something of Value. In 1961, the agent of Pierre’s wife Joy recommended he audition for the role of a French-speaking WWII GI in the TV drama, “Combat!” Pierre played the role of “Caje” from 1962-1967.  Caje was a regular favorite.  He was known for “Taking the Point”  He played the squad’s French translator.

Id shoot you

He was also featured in The Richard Petty Story, Ski Bum, Ski Lift to Death and Airport ’79. Pierre then returned to the cutting room and ADR booth at Paramount, and worked on Concorde, Bloodline, Grease, The Godfather (including the famous baptism intercut sequence at the end of the movie), and the miniseries Shogun – where he was nominated for an Emmy for sound editing. Pierre excelled in home remodeling, masonry, and artistic crafts, and enjoyed French history, Eastern philosophy, fine wine and good conversation. Pierre is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, former actress and ballerina Joy Lee. Memorial service details are pending – Parts published by the L.A. Times

Caje H2O

 

Caje GREAT PIC

 

2 thoughts on “PIERRE “CAJE” JALBERT 1925-2014

  1. “Caje. Take the point!,” was a familiar phrase on Combat, where Pierre WAS Caje, the Cajun American Robert Altman included in his squad of US Army infantry men during WW II. Led by Vic Morrow as Sgt. Chip Saunders and Rick Jason as Lt. Gil Hanley, The men of the 161st marched their way through trouble with Germans and sometimes an occasional newcomer/troublemaker. The squad was perfectly conceptualized; a tough, knowing sergeant who felt his job was to get his men home safely; a lieutenant who rose through the ranks and became a model officer; Doc, first played by Stephen Rogers, then Conlan Carter, who became the conscience of the squad; “Littlejohn,” the mid-western farmer and gentle giant (Dick Peabody) the restless, obnoxious, and sometimes annoying “Kirby”, the BAR man, famously played by Jack Hogan, who Rick Jason is quoted as describing as “…the finest actor of all the bunch of us.” Comedian Shecky Greene spent a year in the first season as Braddock, as did Tom Lowell as “Billy,” the youngest member of the squad, often clueless, who made it through the firefights under Littlejohn’s mentoring. But Altman had recalled the many Cajun Americans who fought in WWII as expert soldiers and marksmen, so Caje ‘s role was vital. The point man; the guy you could always count on. Jalbert had enormous energy and other cast members had to tell him to slow down because they couldn’t keep up with him as they ran up hills, scurried through forests, and eluded German patrols. An editor at MGM, Jalbert had little acting experience, but got wise, concise advice from Vic Morrow. “Remember who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing.” That sentence gave Jalbert all he needed; he was a natural, and all of the cast were totally believable in the roles they played over five seasons on ABC.

    I’ve been watching the show again recently on DVD and the news of Pierre’s death touches me more because I’ve been seeing so much of him. I never met him, but other cast members and those who know him or knew him always smile at the mention of his name before telling their stories about him. He was a gentleman and a gentle man. A wonderful performer and highly regarded (nominated for an Emmy) editor. I will miss him.

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