Politicians and artists mourn death of Quebec actor Michel Cote
Michel Cote takes the Prix Jutra-Hommage 2013 at the 15th annual Jutra award ceremony in Montreal that recognizes talent and achievement in Quebec's feature film industry on Sunday March 17, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe
The death of Michel Cote sent shockwaves across social media Monday, when several personalities underlined the actor's legacy in television, film and theatre.
"Michel Cote, one of our great actors, passed away today. I'm still laughing out loud at Broue, Cruising Bar, La petite vie, but I also remember his touching role in C.R.A.Z.Y." said Quebec Premier Francois Legault on Twitter.
Legault added that he was due to induct him into the National Order of Quebec in a few weeks.
"Through his many roles, he left his mark on generations of Quebecers. We've all just lost a little bit of ourselves," echoed Liberal leader Marc Tanguay.
Quebec solidaire spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said the actor left behind an "immense legacy."
"All of Quebec is in mourning, because all of Quebec loved him. What sadness."
"He will remain forever engraved in our collective memory. Also a man of great simplicity and kindness," wrote PQ leader Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon.
Conservative leader Eric Duhaime said he was touched by the play `Broue.'
"His talents as a director and actor charmed millions of spectators in what became the most famous play in Quebec history," he said on Facebook.
Actor and Bloc Quebecois MNA Denis Trudel also paid tribute to his former colleague.
"I had the privilege of working with him on C.R.A.Z.Y. Kind, funny, endearing, hard-working, always a good word for everyone. A terrible loss for all of Quebec," he said.
His leader, Bloc Quebecois member Yves-Francois Blanchet, also expressed his sadness.
"Heavy, very heavy day of mourning for Quebec: one of the truest, most touching, funny and adored actors, a piece of our Quebec soul, has left us," he declared.
A GENIUS AND A GIANT
The artistic community also mourned the actor, including those who worked alongside him over the years.
"It's very hard to start the week with such sad news. Michel was a genius on screen. I loved all his roles," said Vincent Guzzo, president and general manager of Cinemas Guzzo.
Columnist and author Stephane Laporte spoke of a "giant."
"From Broue to C.R.A.Z.Y., from Cruising Bar to Omertà, Michel always won. Michel was always good. Always good in life, too," he said.
Writer Simon Boulerice also wrote a tribute on Instagram, sharing a photo of himself with the actor.
"Farewell to this great man of kindness and dazzling talent. Michel Cote embodied elegance. No wonder audiences loved him so much."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 29, 2023.