Death of Marthe Mercadier: her passionate love story with a huge Formula 1 star


Marthe Mercadier, who died on September 15, 2021 at the age of 92 from Alzheimer’s disease, had a thousand and one lives. She was born between the wars, worked for the Resistance during the Second World War, experienced the reconstruction of France and even participated in Dance with the stars at the age of 82! A rich and intense existence, sometimes marked by hardships such as his big financial troubles at the end of his life. Love also holds a large place in his life, like this passionate relationship with a great figure in motor racing.

If the actress who loves the boards so much was married for twenty with the actor Gérard Néry – father of her only daughter Véronique -, Marthe Mercadier had an encounter that will mark her life afterwards: the Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio, champion of the world of Formula 1. The couple lived a beautiful love story for a year. On the set ofWe are not in bed in 2011, she confided in this story: « He was the fastest man in the world. So I was still interested. I was very curious. I stayed a year with Fangio and it was extraordinary because he was two very different characters. When we went from Rome to Naples, I had a house in Capri. And he was driving at 90 km/h, with the Italians unleashed. And I said to him, but why are you going so slow? He answered me: ‘Look at them, look at them.’ The others said, ‘cretino! (…) Go fan culo’ to Fangio! (laughs) And I was crying laughing.« 

An ace in F1 and road safety

In addition to having made the actress laugh, he also gave her survival advice in the event of an automobile accident: « He told me one thing, which saved my life. ‘If you have an accident, immediately you cut [le contact] and you slip under the steering wheel [recroquevillée]. And I had an accident four or five years later, I came out alive. It was a good combination.« 

For F1 laymen, Juan Miguel Fangio, who died in 1995 at the age of 84, was five-time Formula 1 world champion in the 1950s. He dominated the queen discipline of motorsport in the 1950s, being until this day the only driver to be crowned world champion in 4 different teams. It was not until another motorsport legend, Michael Schumacher, that his record of five world titles was surpassed. Then Lewis Hamilton pulverized everything. The Argentine runner is credited with the expression « You take yourself for Fangiointended for those who tended to push too hard on the accelerator in the 20th century.

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