Jean Martin 1922 - 2009

French actor who played Lucky in the premiere of Waiting for Godot passes away
Jean Martin playing Lucky (front-centre) in the first production of Waiting for Godot in Paris, 1953.

'The success of [Waiting for Godot], in which "nothing happens, twice", according to the critic Vivian Mercier in the Irish Times, gathered momentum during its first run, not least because of the controversy it created. One night, the curtain had to be brought down after Lucky's monologue because a group of well-dressed spectators were whistling and hooting derisively. Roger Blin, who directed the play and portrayed Pozzo, Lucky's slave-driving master, teasingly described Lucky as a "one-line part", albeit 700 words long, but it became Martin's signature role, staying with him for the rest of his life.'

Roger Bergan, The Guardian
Actor Jean Martin has died of cancer, aged 86. He was best known for his casting as Lucky in the original theatrical production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in 1953. The French actor became a long-standing friend of Beckett's, and went on to feature in subsequent productions of his work; he played Clov in Endgame alongside Roger Blin, and the title role in Krapp's Last Tape, famously choosing to operate the tape recorder live on-stage.

He passed away on 2nd February, James Joyce's birthday. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving cast member of Waiting for Godot's original production, and was said to be writing a book on Samuel Beckett. You can read Ronald Bergan's obituary of the actor on the Guardian website, by clicking here.