This is a story about the puzzle of celebrity, excess and indulgence, the lure of centers of power like Montreal and New York City. It has a Life in the Fast Lane quality to it, with shades of Looking for Mr. Goodbar and The Eyes of Laura Mars. This is the murder of Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine, a Montreal fashion model who was stabbed repeatedly in her Gramercy Park apartment in 1982 after an evening of disco dancing in a New York club. A lot has been said about this case, most of it recently. People may say, “Oh that case, we know all about that, why you wanna do that case?” Well it’s an investigation with a very long trajectory – 40 years – and initially, there was a lot of speculation and rumor that wasn’t very helpful. Marie-Josée’s reputation got caught up in that speculation – innuendo and suspicions about the world of fashion and modeling.
I’ll say right at the opening that Saint-Antoine is alleged to have been murdered by an associate, a Montreal television personality named Alain Montpetit. But it took authorities decades to discover that Montpetit was the culprit, in part because of the difficulty of international investigations, but also because many in Quebec for years were apologists for Montpetit’s increasingly erratic behavior, in many ways enabling him as he burned through all his substance-abused work opportunities. In fact in a lot of the media coverage of the case, Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine is something of a grim footnote to the story. Always it is the personality of Montpetit that commands the center of attention.
Bring me the head of the Disco King
We pick up in the late 1970s. At that time, Saint-Antoine was just getting her modeling career off the ground in Montreal, and Montpetit had been deejaying at a series of local radio stations. The two local artists were part of a small clique that often got together on ski weekends in the Laurentians north of Montreal, with partying going on afterward into the morning hours at a local discotheque. At the time, Montpetit was married to a dancer and choreographer and had children, but the relationship periodically was on the rocks – they would often separate; Montpetit was a local Don Juan, and was known to have dated several other women.
By 1979 Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine had outgrown Montreal and moved to the fashion center of New York. Soon her modeling career skyrocketed, and she was gracing the covers of glamour magazines. And Montpetit? Certainly he was the talk of the town, but a big fish in a small pond. In 1981 he was doing summer stock theatre in the Quebec sticks, kind of like doing Oklahoma in the Catskills – the locals were impressed, but Montpetit seemed embarrassed by the venture. Here he is on a Montreal television show called Musi-Video in 1981 talking about the experience:
“I’ll be at a theater all summer. um, between, uh, Valleyfield , near Pont Château, in Coteau du Lac. Mm-hmm uh, and there’s a theater there called the (PTU?) theater, which is obviously a professional theater it’s, uh, summer stock.
And we’ll be doing a show, a show written by Ben Starr an American called, uh, the button. It’ll be in French though. And, uh, we’ll be doing that from June 25th through September. Ben Starr was just in town to see us. I had dinner with him the other night. He’s done a lot of things he’s written a bunch of TV shows on he’s a producer for Different Strokes. He was head writer on All In The Family at one time. Uh, he’s a very, very successful man.”Alain Montpetit, Musi-Video – 1981
So this show is practically dinner theater, it probably was a dinner theater. Coteau du Lac is nowheresville (not Couteau du Lac, that would be something quite different) – it’s off the island of Montreal over where Barbara Myers was murdered in 1976. That’s how obscure it is: it’s where you go to dump a body. If I’m near Coteau du Lac I know one thing – I’m on my way to Toronto and I’m not staying there. And Ben Starr? Sure, he was an American television producer. He’s most famous for writing the Brady Bunch episode The Personality Kid where Peter Brady delivers the Humphrey Bogart line “pork chops and applesauce”. So this is hardly the big time, and Montpetit is acutely aware of this. He wouldn’t be “ummming” his way through the interview if he had confidence in the project. Calling it out as “the professional theater” is a sure indication that it was anything but. So in 1981, Alain Montpetit is clearly not where he thinks he’s supposed to be in his career trajectory.
Alain Montpetit’s path was kind of like Tom Thumb, having this never ending series of misadventures. Certainly he was to the manor born. His grandfather was Édouard Montpetit, you can’t go anywhere in Montreal without running into a street or metro stop or some school named after Édouard Montpetit. He was brought up in the affluent Westmount neighborhood, though he liked to point out he was born in the more ‘peuple’-centered Outremont – no one wants to be cast as a “Westmount snob”. His father was a prominent judge, and Alain once had aspirations to go to law school, but he landed at York University studying theater. He once did a touring show with the Stratford Festival. The early 1970s saw him enrolled in political science at UCLA in Los Angeles where he also worked part-time in the student radio station. For a time he worked as a process server for the Clerk of the County Court. He never completed his studies, and we next find Montpetit back in Quebec on the border of Maine heading up a pirate radio station. In 1974 he landed a job with the English CKGM Radio and covered many true crime cases, including the infamous street chase of Richard Blass. Skilled in both languages, it was typical for Montpetit to start his day on English Radio only to hop over to French television by the afternoon and finish the day doing infotainment. At the time of the above interview he was also doing a soap opera, Le Clan Beaulieu. Busy guy.
Things changed in the late ’70s when Montpetit joined the French disco show, Et ça tourne. In the highflying era of dance divas and Donna Summer, Montpetit became a local celebrity, Montreal’s “Disco King”, though he said he never really cared for the music. During this period, it would not have been out of character for Montpetit and others to jet set between the clubs in Montreal and New York – Studio 54 on a Friday, The Lime Light on Saturday, with lots of coke and Dom Perignon along the way. At the time a lot was made of Montpetit’s celebrity, of how he was one of the 10 best good looking guys in Montreal. Yes, but he was also on the list of the 10 worst dressed, along side Mordecai Richler and Tommy Schnurmacher, endearing Montreal slobs. You need to take these things with a pound of salt; what’s a big deal in Quebec is small potatoes outside that fish bowl.
A highly publicized scandal
There’s this overriding sense that Quebec is not supposed to talk about this case. It’s okay to drag out the sordid mysteries of Sharon Prior or Cédrika Provencher or Marilyn Bergeron, but Montpetit and Saint-Antoine are off limits because they moved in a higher social circle. It’s not unlike the Michelle Perron case, where we’re not supposed to talk about it because the suspect was a famous television personality, and the case involved Claire Leger and the St. Hubert chicken empire. Hands off! When Montpetit’s sister was contacted after her brother became a suspect she brushed the matter off with an air of entitlement, “That’s an old story. I’m not interested in commenting.”
Spoiler alert: Montpetit died of a drug overdose in a Washington D.C. hotel five years after Saint-Antoine’s murder, and for years the Quebec press wouldn’t entertain even the possibility that the radio host might have been involved in the model’s murder (well, mostly the English press, the French tabloids – particularly Allo and Photo Police – had a field day with it). Many papers reported that Montpetit died of “heart failure”, leaving off the part about how it was brought on after snorting massive amounts of cocaine. The Montreal Gazette did a three page eulogy to Montpetit and never once acknowledged that he once was a suspect in Saint-Antoine’s murder. All of his sociopathic behavior was explained away in the most facile manner by saying he wrestled with demons, or had a hard time living up to his father’s expectations.
In this 1987 appreciation, his on-off wife Nanci Moretti goes along with the hollow narrative: “He had a hard drive inside him that really pushed hard. Maybe too hard”. Then in a stunning display of blithe ignorance:
“It was his own battle. He had an incredible amount of talent and it wasn’t being used. There’s no blame anywhere”Mark Burns, “The Death of Alain Montpetit: A Struggle With Great Expectations”, The Gazette, August 24, 1987, P. 16
Outside of some tabloid red meat, where was the appreciation piece for the victim, Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine? You’d have a hard time finding it. Here’s what former CJFM program director, Mark Burns had to say about Saint Antoine’s death in that article:
So Saint-Antoine’s murder is reimagined as a scandal, and her offender is recast as a “close family friend”. Is it any wonder that two years after her death, her father took his own life by jumping off the balcony of his apartment? We don’t know much about Saint-Antoine because there wasn’t a lot written about her in English – it was the Alain Montpetit show, in life and in death. In a 2001 interview with Paul Cherry of The Gazette, Marie-Josée’s brother Jean Luc Saint-Antoine expressed the grief his family had suffered. The day after the murder, Marie-Josée was planning to fly back to Montreal to surprise her dad for Father’s Day – she never made it. After her death, their father sunk immediately into a deep depression. He had several treatments of electro-shock therapy. Their mother refused to speak of the event, even almost 20 years later in 2001 – the death of her daughter still too traumatic to discuss. In the article, Jean-Luc reveals how immediately after the murder he received a disturbing phone call from New York City:
“Alain called me from New York and asked if he could go and identify the body for the family. I asked him what he was doing there. I figured it was strange that he was there because he was supposed to still be in Belgium (in rehab)”Paul Cherry, “Murder Still Haunts Family”, The Gazette, December 13, 2001, P. 1
Wait. What was Montpetit doing in New York City? No one found this strange? A Quebec girl is murdered in New York and a guy from Quebec she knows just happens to be there at the same time? Apparently the New York Police found it suspicious but according to them they were having a really hard time running down witnesses:
“At one point, it took us six months just to find five people who knew her and live in the U.S.”Detective Dominic Andreno, NYPD
I’m having a hard time buying their argument here that ‘policing is really hard’, but I’m gonna let it slide. I will add that if the police were having difficulty piecing things together, Claude Poirier, the Quebec investigative reporter, was not. Poirier happened to be at Jean-Luc’s side the afternoon that Montpetit called the Saint-Antoine home, and just happened to record the telephone conversation. Poirier and Jean Luc were two of the first to adamantly insist that Alain Montpetit killed Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine.
By the turn of the century, police began to take renewed interest in the case when one of Montpetit’s girlfriends who had provided his alibi changed her story that he had been with her the afternoon of the murder. The night of June 17, 1982, Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine had been partying with Grace Jones and John F. Kennedy Jr. at a famous NYC discotheque called Xenon. Where was Alain Montpetit? He was a celebrity, but was he at the level he could hang with these people? Montpetit created a lot of press in Quebec, the majority of it was in television rags like Télé-radiomonde (TV Guide) – the publications were owned by the television and radio stations and designed to promote their products. Quebecor still does this to this day. You’ll see on Twitter the CEO, Pierre Karl Péladeau pumping some god-awful show of his as if it’s must-see-tv, when it’s just Ol’ Pierre again shilling for PKP! Alain Montpetit was a local celebrity, and he would have been punching above his weight trying to keep up with music stars and the sons of presidents. But he may have bitterly resented that Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine had risen to the point in her career where she could. By this point Saint-Antoine had left the Ford Modeling agency, and was working for the younger and hipper Elite as one of the top print fashion models in New York.
Here’s another excerpt from that Musi-Video interview with Andy Nulman in 1981. This was one year before the murder of Saint-Antoine, and Montpetit is talking about why he grew to dislike the United States, but it’s clear that what’s eating at him is that he failed there. It’s better that you view the entire interview on YouTube (I’ve place it at the end of this piece) because there is an over-arching impression that Alain Montpetit was one nasty piece of work:
Andy Nulman: “Why would you come back? Let’s say after being in LA and you know, the grand golden United States, why would you come back to Montreal home, home based?”
Alain Montpetit: “Well, the sickness that’s apparent in American society right now was, uh, just revealing itself when I left. Um, it’s very nice to talk about the golden United States until you live there. You know, a lot of people who talk of the United States have never lived there. Yeah. I lived there for six years of my life.
I can tell you a lot about the states, the west coast, the way people relate to each other, the violence, uh, there is a part of the United States. That’s very, very ugly and I’m, I’m not putting the States down. It’s still a country. I enjoy a great deal. I go there regularly. I was there two weeks ago. Uh, but, um, I don’t know.”
It’s amazing that there’s this guy preaching about the violence and ugliness in the United States – was the sickness that was revealing itself in you? – and then a year later he travels to New York, stalks a woman, chases her upstairs to her apartment and stabs her to death repeatedly in the heart. Then he comes back to Canada and immediately assumes a defensive posture of ‘poor me’, and defamation, and how the media needs to stop chasing him and let him get on with his pursuit of celebrity. A month after Saint Antoine’s murder, Montpetit complained in a La Presse interview that he felt persecuted, “lost like a hero in a Hitchcock film”. Yes, but he wasn’t cast as Cary Grant, he was playing Raymond Burr.
246 East 23rd Street
I’ve been avoiding the actual murder, because it’s like every other murder; men hunting down women. The cold case investigator for the NYPD later assigned to Saint-Antoine’s case, Stefano Braccini made a comment something like, ‘murder is always about people (crimes of passion) or money (and usually drug money), and they’re mostly committed by men’. Here is what apparently happened in June 1982.
Alain Montpetit’s alibi was this: he was not in New York City when Saint-Antoine died, he was in Madrid in rehab, then later with his girlfriend, Jackie Lee in New Orleans. Jackie Lee later confessed that while they did travel to New Orleans, their flight plans were such that they had a two day layover in New York during the timeline of the murder (and anyway, he had told Marie-Josee’s brother he was in NYC, allegedly contacting Jean-Luc before police had even spoken to the family, but why bring up facts.). Montpetit had instructed Jackie Lee to tell the police he was with her in New Orleans, but he was actually at Xenon the night before Marie-Josee died, he had gained entry using a press pass, and he and Jackie Lee both observed Marie-Josée dancing that night.
Saint-Antoine came home around 1:00 a.m. that night to her Gramercy Park apartment located at 246 East 23rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The next afternoon the actress Dana Delaney – who was then 21 and doing the soap opera, All My Children – ran into Saint-Antoine on the street in Gramercy Park accompanied by a man who she did not introduce. In a composite sketch Delaney later drew, the man looked like Montpetit, but he also kind of looked like Jamie Gillis, an apartment neighbor of Saint-Antoine. This led to a red herring that the then adult film star, Gillis might have murdered model Sainte-Antoine on the basis that 1. he was a porn star, so therefore… 2. He happened to speak French. 3. He was apparently a good actor, the “De Niro” of porn. Police also speculated that it might have been her boyfriend at the time, a fashion photographer named Dominique Silberstein. But unlike Montpetit, Silberstein had an iron-clad alibi where he was observed by several models at a photo shoot during the murder timeline.
Around 5:30 p.m., June 18, 1982, Saint-Antoine returned to her apartment. Shortly thereafter, Jamie Gillis entered the building and noticed Saint-Antoine’s white, healed shoes at the base of the ground floor stairs. Finding this suspicious, Gillis and his girlfriend, Kathleen O’Reilly, then walked up the four flights to her apartment to check on their neighbor. They had a spare key, but when they opened the door, they felt weight against it. Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine was discovered lying face down dressed in jeans and a blouse, stabbed several times in the heart, once in the back, and with defensive wounds on her arm, and bruises on her body. There were no signs of forced-entry or robbery, and police almost immediately deemed the murder an “emotionally driven crime”, believing the 23-year-old model knew her killer: “It looks like she let him in the door”, a detective commented.
The apartment building had a buzzer system for entry. Which means she either let her assailant in, or he followed her in. Police speculated she had removed her shoes to make walking (or running) up the flight of stairs easier. But cold case detective Stefano Braccini offered another theory: the assailant may have removed the shoes and brought them down to the entrance foyer, a staging mechanism to ensure Saint-Antoine would be discovered quickly, possibly indicating signs of remorse.
One early theory was that Marie-Josée got caught in the crossfire of a modeling war. In an era when the industry was ripe with allegations of being a front for drugs and prostitution, was the 23-year-old model a collateral victim? This might have had legs had not a better theory soon developed: Marie-Josée was murdered by a sociopathic associate who transposed all of his swallowed rage into this one outburst of aggression. Montpetit characterized himself as a close friend of Saint-Antoine, the truth was he barely knew her. But Marie-Josee was friends with Montpetit’s girlfriend, Paule Charbonneau. Charbonneau began a sexual relationship with the disco king where he would basically stop by for a fuck, then be off on his next adventure. She characterized it as “an unhealthy relationship” and Saint -Antoine had urged her to break it off commenting, “that guy is weird”. When Montpetit was supposed to be in Madrid or Belgium or wherever-the-fuck he was pretending to be, when he was actually back in Montreal or New York, he called Charbonneau 15 times in the middle of the night begging her to take him back. On the 16th try it was Saint Antoine who picked up and instructed him to never call again. And I am certain her words were slightly less polite than that.
Jackie Lee later admitted to police that Montpetit was off on his own for several hours the afternoon of June 18th. When he returned to their hotel he was wearing a yellow jacket that had blood stains on it. While never saying directly that he did anything, he instructed Jackie Lee that if the police contacted her, to say that the two of them stayed in their hotel room for the entire three days they were in New York. Montpetit gave his girlfriend some bullshit excuse that he wanted to given up his career in Montreal and start over as a writer in New Orleans. After two weeks of hiding out, that charade ended. He quickly decided that he no longer wanted to be a writer and returned to Montreal radio.
“I know who did it”.
Suspicions grew quickly. One month later in July 1982 Montpetit gave an interview with La Presse where he stated that “Marie-Josée, a good family friend”, and how he had telephoned her parents because:
“Sensing their distress, I wanted to provide them with my support in an active and perhaps useful way…I said to myself that these people, whom I know well, would like to know what had happened to their daughter, especially since she was very close to them and, moreover, she led a fair life. – straight.”La Presse, July 15, 1982
One person who wasn’t buying it was Douglas “Coco” Leopold, an associate and fellow radio host who went on the air at CKMF and stated categorically that Montpetit murdered Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine – the French can be subtle but when pressed they go for the jugular. Montpetit immediately sued “Coco” Leopold for defamation and the case was settled out of court. Leopold hadn’t just been cavalier in his remarks. The source of his charge apparently came from another one of Montpetit’s former girlfriends, the singer Sophie Stanké. Stanké told investigators that after she ended her relationship with Montpetit he stalked her. Later when she confronted him about the Saint-Antoine murder he did not deny he had done it and commented, “I know who did it”. New York Police stated Montpetit also confessed to his other former girlfriend, Paule Charbonneau, but publicly Charbonneau denied it.
In a May 1982 interview with La Presse, one month prior to the murder, Alain Montpetit confided that his real ambition was to be “on American television”:
“where he admires an anchorman like Ted Koppel. He would like to specialize in public affairs, seasoned with showbiz, such as they are done on television across the border.”“Alain Montpetit quitte le Québec”, La Presse, May 22, 1982
Alain Montpetit failed in that ambition. Montpetit’s career path could have been much like the former Toronto music VeeJay, J.D. Roberts, had not all the booze and coke and personal issues got in the way. John Robert is today a news anchor on Fox News. At the point when Montpetit should have been making the transition to a larger American market his life was spinning out of control, and he was going on live radio making incoherent rants. His Montreal producers again asked him to check into rehab.
Instead Alain Montpetit checked into the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. He had made arrangements to check into a different hotel with Jackie Lee, apparently another attempt to rekindle an old flame – he had uncharacteristically told her that he loved her – but he never showed up. The Henley Park was six blocks from the White House. On the afternoon of June 9, 1987 – five years from the anniversary of Marie Josee’s murder, and almost exactly three years to the date of her father’s suicide – Alain Montpetit ordered a martini at the lobby bar, then retired early to his room. He then called room service and ordered another martini. The maid found him the next morning in his bed, an empty plastic bag of coke in the bathroom. The autopsy revealed he had snorted seven grams of cocaine laced with morphine. An NYPD officer once pondered at the lost potential in the murder of Marie-Josee Saint-Antoine. “This is a tragedy. She could have been the next Cheryl Tiegs”, never catching the backhanded insult. Saint-Antoine was raven-haired, so maybe the next Linda Evangelista. What does it matter – It’s 2022, no one knows what we’re talking about anyway.
By 2021, the world caught up with Marie-Josée, and she finally got her in-depth true crime documentary. I am frequently skeptical of these programs, they often start great and very quickly get sloppy. If you can find it, Qui a tué Marie-Josée? – made in 2021 by Attraction Media – is an excellent piece of investigative reporting. It earns every inch of its three hour running time. I have used a lot of it here to fact check what I’ve written. A large portion of the program explains fashion culture in the era as it moved from ’70s hippie-mod cute to the sophisticated androgyny and padded shoulders of The Big ’80s. Marie-Josée’s family are given voice, chiefly through her brother, Jean-Luc, and there are great interviews with players both from Quebec and the United States. Detective Braccini is there, and it’s clear that as a cold case investigator he is a very creative thinker. At one point he talks about the importance of re-interviewing witnesses, and I wish I could get cold case investigators from Quebec to hear it. He says you need to re-interview because witnesses change their statements, they don’t remember what they said decades earlier, but detectives do because they have the written statements – brilliant and fundamental. One criticism of the program is that Montpetit’s wife and two children are barely mentioned and are scrubbed from the narrative, you’d hardly know he once had a stable family. Overall it’s a fair portrait, offering the many motives and suspects, but ultimately it comes down squarely that Alain Montpetit murdered Marie-Josée. And this is what New York Police ultimately decided in 2001 when the District Attorney granted an “Exceptional Clearance” to determine that Montpetit was the culprit, and close the case.
I’m going to close with and interview Montpetit gave to Andre Gignac in the summer of 1981 (it’s a little confusing so I’ve bolded Montpetit’s remarks). Through it I think you can see a lot of the troubled nature of Alain Montpetit. Not that I sympathize with him. I really believe Montpetit is the model of what has become fashionable to call a narcissistic personality. He was his own worst enemy, always seeming to get in the way of whatever it was he thought he should be aspiring to.
I had this friend in high school, Russell. He’s the one who introduced me to Kraftwerk, the music I’ve used generously for this podcast. If you don’t know – this is not an original idea – I think Kraftwerk is the most important and influential pop band in the world – Holed up in Düsseldorf for 40 years, creating these soundscapes. Even when they became famous, they’d visit dance centers in Berlin and New York, but they were always most comfortable back home in the north of Germany. Russell used to sing Hall of Mirrors, but he’d also act it out in full Marlene Dietrich fashion, striking these garish poses. He still remembers it. I recall it as something quite frightening, how he’d pantomime this slow robotic dance. Kraftwerk were iconoclasts, I don’t think they were working for anyone’s approval. Contrast that with the statement below from Montpetit, “As long as the public wants me. I’ll stay. It is the public that is my real boss”. I could never see those words coming out of the mouths of any member of Kraftwerk. They took half a decade to produce Electric Café, and that’s not because they were on hiatus after the success of Computer World: they took nearly 2,000 days to produce an album, and rarely left their Kling Klang studio during that time. And what was Alain Montpetit up to in 1978 when Kraftwerk released The Man-Machine and were at the apex of their creativity? Well, Montpetit released the Halloween novelty goof, Dracula Disco, I sort of Montreal Monster Mash.
If Alain Montpetit truly wanted to be a great stage actor, or music artist, or a writer (I doubt it) he was afforded every opportunity to pursue these ambitions, which for most of us, are impossibilities. Most of us don’t have the mechanism in place. Montpetit came from money, he had access to the right people, he had opportunity and influence. What he lacked was deep talent. He possessed superficial talent, he was a populist. I would suggest he knew this, and it was at the heart of his deep insecurities. He knew he wasn’t good enough to be an artist of the highest calibre, so he compensated with arrogance and bravado. I have no doubt that when he finally went to New York City to try and be the next Ted Koppel that he marched in there with a “don’t you know how important I am back in Canada!” attitude and they showed him the door. And here I’ve gone and broken my own rule by talking more about the offender than the victim. But you don’t ask the victim, “why did you do it? Why did you become a victim?” (in some cases we do). More often we ask the offender, “Why were you such a hideous person?” So why… why was Alain Montpetit such a…
“We could consider Alain Montpetit as a snob, a pest, or a very decent guy, or even a tireless worker, that we would be mistaken in taking them one by one. Because Alain is all of these things at the same time, except for what is snobbery. The host has a holy horror of anything that presents a snobbish character. We are therefore going to leave that to the jealous and concentrate more on the rather original character that is Alain Montpetit – the radio announcer, the theater actor, then I man.
It is no secret that Alain Montpetit already led a life that was eventful to say the least. Far be it from me to want to rehash these stories again, but because, during our interview, he hesitated to have his photograph taken – “I look all crooked” he gave as a reason – then he gave in. Without that I don’t intend to ask him the reason for his state, or at least the reason why – “I won’t be able to get through it!”
Alain Montpetit is a quiet man, too busy to commit some madness. This is the second time I asked him the question, and the answer was the same in both cases. So no scandal, except that, in my opinion, this guy is going to kill himself at work!
“It’s true, I’ve got a lot of work.” But what he’s done it these last few months. In each place, so to speak, we haven’t been looking for him, it’s rather he who broke down the doors one by one, proving beforehand that he could do it.
This time, and for the first time in his career in Quebec, Alain Montpetit is headed for summer theatre. From June 25 to September 5, he will gradually leave his role as a host to do summer theatre, “because I was too busy with shows, television and radio. So as you can see, I’m not as busy as you are. I think so, since I can play on summer stages. Which doesn’t prevent me from preparing nine specials for Télé-Métropole, not to mention various other specials, and the radio station CKMF-FM.”
The cat got out of the bag when he explained to me that he had just arrived from a play rehearsal in which he had to roll on the ground as part of his character before rushing to the CKMF radio station, where the interview took place just a few minutes before he went on the air.
Here, in a few lines, is the story of Alain Montpetit’s recent years: a very busy guy, so busy that you shouldn’t be surprised when he lets himself be seen in jeans, his eyes a little tired. “A chance that came to me quickly. You do your job, you don’t consider it as such. You have fun while doing your job professionally. That’s how it is” he explains.
And anyway, when the opportunity comes, you have to take it. He went from CKLM to CKGM, then to CKMF, followed by Clan Beaulieu and other special shows. But he craved the theatre, where he trained as a stage actor. The summer stock play he is doing, “Beware of the button” / “The Button” is a farce, adapted from an American play by Yvan Canuel, and presented at the Théâtre du Pont Château, in Coteau du Lac. In the play, we also find as actors, Yvan Canuel, his wife Lucille Papineau (who also plays the role of his wife in the play), and Sylvie Beauregard, with whom Alain is in love. “Previously, I didn’t have time to ask if this infernal race against time was going to last much longer. As long as the public wants me. I’ll stay. It is the public that is my real boss – they will decide my future.”
So what can we learn from all this? Very simple: Alain Montpetit is a guy who knows his limits… and who knows if he has yet reached them! “André Gignac, “POUR LA PREMIERE FOIS AU THÉÂTRE D’ÉTÉ”, Télé-radiomonde, dimanche 12 juillet 1981, P. 20