Mr. Cochet joined the Comédie-Française, France’s oldest theater group, in 1959, at the age of 24. He then played with the company in numerous plays before deciding to create his own theater school in the 1960s.
Richard Berry, a leading French actor, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Cochet’s lessons would focus on technique, so that students would realize that the body was an instrument.
“Most actors act like they feel – it’s inspirational,” said Berry, “but he showed me there is more.” “
For Mr. Berry, the testimonies on Mr. Cochet’s difficult manner missed how kind and encouraging he was. When he started attending Mr. Cochet’s classes, Mr. Berry said he was too poor to pay the fees, but Mr. Cochet pushed him away by trying to pay.
“He always said,” It’s okay, keep it to yourself, “” said Mr. Berry.
Mr. d’Aboville said he expected Mr. Cochet’s students, some of whom themselves became teachers, would continue to teach Mr. Cochet’s methods.
“It gave the theater an almost religious dimension,” he said.