Michel Côté (1950-2023): public darling and box office champion

Michel Côté (1950-2023): public darling and boxing champion- office


He wasn't dubbed “the king of the box office” for nothing. No Quebec actor has had as much success on the big screen as Michel Côté. From Cruising Bar to From father to cop via C.R.A.Z.Y. and Piché: between heaven and earth , the films in which he acted collected around 30 million dollars at the box office. To once again pay tribute to this darling actor of the public who left us last Monday at the age of 72, Le Journal returns to some of his greatest successes in cinema. 

Piché: Between Heaven and Earth 

In this biographical drama directed by Sylvain Archambault, Michel Côté very accurately plays the famous commander Robert Piché, who saved the lives of 306 people in 2001 by heroically landing a broken down plane in the Azores. While preparing to shoot the film, the actor befriended Robert Piché, with whom he remained in contact until his death. He also had the chance to share the spotlight with his son, Maxime Le Flaguais, who plays the role of Commander Piché during his youth. Released in July 2010, Piché: Between Heaven and Earth won the Bobine d'or that year (the prize awarded to the most popular Quebec film of the year) thanks to receipts of 3 .6 M$.   

From father to cop 1 and 2

Director Émile Gaudreault had a lucky hand by entrusting the two main roles of his detective comedy, From father to cop, to Michel Côté and Louis-José Houde. Côté is impeccable in the skin of an irreproachable policeman who would like his son (Houde), also a policeman, to be as perfect as him. Released in the summer of 2009, De père en cop remains to this day one of the greatest successes of Quebec cinema thanks to box office receipts of more than $10.5 million. Launched in July 2017, From father to cop 2, was also a hit with a collection of $6.6 million in theaters across the province.  


Ten years after directing him in the thriller Liste noire, filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée offered Michel Côté one of the finest roles of his career by entrusting him with the character of Gervais Beaulieu in C.R.A.Z.Y., a cult film that achieved the rare feat of seducing both critics and the general public. At the top of his game, Côté is moving in the guise of this authoritarian father who has difficulty accepting the homosexuality of his son (played by Marc-André Grondin) in the Quebec of the 1970s. In addition to having collected more $6 million at the Quebec box office in 2005, C.R.A.Z.Y. shone at several major international festivals, including the Venice Film Festival. 

Le sens de l 'humor

Two years after the release of the first From father to cop, Émile Gaudreault has teamed up again with Michel Côté and Louis-José Houde for this other comedy, which also stars Benoît Brière. This time, Côté plays a shy but psychopathic cook who kidnaps two comedians to force them to teach him how to make people laugh. A sense of humor raised over $3.3 million at the box office in the summer of 2011.   

Cruising Bar 1 and 2

As he did on stage with Broue, Michel Côté scored the imagination of the Quebec public by interpreting the four characters of pathetic flirts in this cult comedy directed by Robert Ménard. Released in September 1989, Cruising Bar garnered $3.4 million at the box office, at a time when Quebec films rarely achieved this kind of success. Michel Côté revisited the roles of Gérard (known as the Bull), Jean-Jacques (the Peacock), Patrice (the Lion) and Serge (the Worm) in 2008 in a sequel that did just as well in theaters (3, $5M), despite mixed reviews.