Lucien Demeille, former publisher of French magazines Pleine Forme and Le monde du Muscle, died in August, according to his wife Josette. Lucien was 85. I never met the man, but heard a lot good things about this extremely talented fella. “Lucien’s magazines reflected the elegance of the man, ” said IRON MAN Publisher John Balik. “Lucien was driven by the aesthetics of French culture–he felt, as so many of us still do today, that Steve Reeves was the ultimate physique. Both Lucien and Bob Kennedy expressed themselves through their artistic talents.” Talented indeed–Doris Barrilleaux told me Sunday night Demeille actually did all of the art work that appeared in his publications.
“Lucien was instrumental in developing Culturisme–the term used for bodybuilding in those days–from the 1940s on,” said his wife, Josette, in an email. “His anatomical drawings are well known in Europe and beyond for more than half a century. He never ceased drawing…he authored several books, including the best seller, Exercise de musculation.”
Josette says Lucien was an outstanding athlete all of his life (swimming and rowing were two of his passions) and had to hit the weights behind his rowing trainer’s back because it was considered taboo during those times. She also revealed that, up to 1956, Lucien was a singer in the famous jazz orientated group Les 4 de Paris. Most of his friends were musicians.
“First and foremost Lucien was a cultured individual, a gentleman who, in spite of his multiple talents, remained level-headed, modest and friendly,” Josette writes. “Even-mooded, with a strong sense of humor, kind and gregarious. It was a pleasure to share his life. Our common venture lasted over 25 years when he passed away…our only regret: that we had not met much earlier in life!”
I wish I could have met him, too, Josette. Special. Real special. R.I.P.