Clemenceau

RICHARD: And this is our international contingent, Claude and Monique Clemenceau. They’re just in from France.

The Clemenceaus have been given the same surname as Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), Prime Minister of France from 1906-1909, and again from 1917-1920, leading France through the end of World War I.

It is surely not a coincidence that Georges Clemenceau has a Connecticut connection. He fled France in 1865 due to involvement in radical politics during the regime of Napoleon III. He ended up teaching at a girl’s school in Stamford, Connecticut, where he fell in love with one of his students, Mary Plummer (1849-1922). They married in 1869 and moved to France a year later. They separated in 1876 and divorced in 1891, after which Clemenceau had Mary sent back to the US. From his time in the US, Clemenceau developed a strong faith in American democratic ideals.

Georges Clemenceau was a friend, biographer, and supporter of the famous French artist Claude Monet. Given Claude’s first name, this also does not seem like a coincidence. Notice that the name Monique sounds similar to Monet, as if both French guests have been named after the painter.

Claude is played by Michael des Barres, an English marquis, actor and rock singer. He played Murdoc in the original Macgyver and had a lead role in the show’s reboot, and replaced Robert Palmer in the band The Power Station, fronting the band at the 1985 Live Aid concert. He has had roles in numerous TV series and some films, including To Sir With Love, Pink Cadillac, and Mulholland Drive. A long-term campaigner against drug abuse, he is currently a radio host for Sirius XM.

Monique is played by Lydie Denier, a French-American model, singer, and actress. She has appeared in a few films and a number of TV programs, including General Hospital, Melrose Place, and Spin City.

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