Jean Gabin (17 May 1904 – 15 November 1976) was a French actor and sometime singer. Life and career Gabin was born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, the son of Madeleine Petit and Ferdinand Moncorgé, a cafe entertainer whose stage name was Gabin. He grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oise (now Val-d'Oise) département, about 22 mi (35 km) north of Paris. The son of cabaret entertainers, he attended the Lycée Janson de Sailly. Leaving school early, he worked as a laborer until the age of 19 when he entered show business with a bit part in a Folies Bergères production.