March 29, 2023


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Jean Lapointe's Little Secret

Jean Lapointe’s Little Secret

Jean Chrétien was a champion of unlikely appointments to the Senate.

At the same time, he appointed two very different artists to the Senate, Viola Léger, the immortal actress of Antoine Maillet’s La Sagoine, and Jean Lapointe, a true admirer who created a reception house named after her. Neither had been in politics, not the other actor Jean-Louis Roux, who was appointed as Jean Chrétien senator in 1994. During the 1995 referendum campaign, Rooks was one of the headliners.

Being a liberal ran in the Lapointe family. Jean’s father was a Liberal MP for the Matapedia-Maden riding in Ottawa from 1935 to 1945. So it is more conventional than Jean Lapointe voted no in the 1980 and 1995 referendums. Earlier this year, he admitted in an interview with Radio-Canada that “Quebec’s independence will come one day or another, and he wants it very much.” His time in the Upper House made him aware of the irreconcilable differences between the country’s two founding peoples.

Two solitudes

The reactions after his death prove him right. Whether he was a senator or he was with the star of a show, Jerome Lemay The Ed Sullivan Show Like Gerolas, his demise did not have much resonance in the English-speaking press. A few newspaper clippings and brief radio and television news broadcasts. Nothing else. We are far removed from the many interviews and programs that our televisions broadcast, not to mention the glossy pages that newspapers publish. Again, this is a great example of both of our idiosyncrasies.

If we’ve done more after the death of a Quebec personality, Jean Lapointe deserves this media outpouring. Above all he is a man of great kindness, a man who is very considerate of others, which is not the norm for many self-centered artists. I could see his virtue during the opening ceremony of the television Quatre-Saisons.

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A hug from Jean Lapointe

Jean Lapointe was one of the stars invited to the gala at the Place des Arts on Sunday evening, September 7, 1986. I had to open the show wearing a tribal headdress in a tuxedo to commemorate the head of an Indian chief. The film was long before Radio-Canada broadcasts began. In pure Mohawk tradition, the headgear was made in TQS colors, Kanwak.

Behind the scenes, it was a rush. Alone in my dressing room while the cameramen adjusted their equipment, the dancers rehearsed their moves, and the performers put on their make-up, I rehearsed the text I had written for the occasion. I was terrified to appear on stage in a giant cabbage, symbolizing the birth of the network, and address a full house. A few minutes before leaving my dressing room there was a knock on the door. It was Jean Lapointe.

– I came to hug you to reassure you.

This man, whom I scarcely knew, had guessed that I was afraid of death. He hugged me for a good minute and then whispered in my ear: “You have nothing to fear, people will like you if they feel you like them. This is my secret to overcoming stage fright! “

Jean Lapointe should never have had stage fright because Quebecers adored him.