Charles Boyer (28 August 1899 – 26 August 1978) was a French actor who appeared in more than 80 films between 1920 and 1976. After receiving an education in drama, Boyer started on the stage, but he found success in movies during the 1930s. His memorable performances were among the era's most highly praised romantic dramas, Algiers (1938) and Love Affair (1939). Another famous role was in the 1944 mystery-thriller Gaslight. He received four Academy Award nominations for Best Actor.
Born in Figeac, Lot, Midi-Pyrénées, France, to Maurice and Louise Boyer, Charles was a shy, small-town boy who discovered the movies and theatre at the age of eleven. Boyer performed comic sketches for soldiers while working as a hospital orderly during World War I. He began studies briefly at the Sorbonne, and was waiting for a chance to study acting at the Paris Conservatory. He went to the capital city to finish his education, but spent most of his time pursuing a theatrical career. In 1920, his quick memory won him a chance to replace the leading man in a stage production, and he scored an immediate hit. In the 1920s, he not only played a suave and sophisticated ladies' man on the stage but also appeared in several silent films.
MGM signed Boyer to a contract, and he loved life in the United States, but nothing much came of his first Hollywood stay from 1929 to 1931. At first, he performed film roles only for the money and found that supporting roles were unsatisfying. However, with the coming of sound, his deep voice made him a romantic star.