Cocteau Méditerranée: Passepartout (Marcel Khill) ou la belle croisièreMarcel Khill, real name Mustapha Marcel Khelilou ben Abdelkader (March 6, 1912 – June 18, 1940), was the companion of Jean Cocteau. Jean Cocteau's most passionate affair apparently was with Marcek Khill ("he kills me"): this brave fellow met his death serving in Alsace after France's surrender.

In 1931 Jean Desbordes went out of Cocteau's life and was replaced by an Algerian youth named Marcel Khill (his real name was Mustapha Marcel Khelilou Belkhacem ben Abdelkader). Marcel Khill spent his youth near Paris. He was the son of an Algerian soldier and a Norman peasant. In 1932, he met Jean Cocteau and became his companion for several years. Glenway Wescott recalled, “We went to Villefranche and there was Cocteau with Marcel Khill. When I first saw Marcel, they were in bed." Khill created the role of the messenger of Corinth in Cocteau's play The Infernal Machine. In 1936, he initiated the 80-day circum circum world tour that they both performed and which was recounted by Cocteau in Mon Premier Voyage; Khill appears there under the name Passepartout. In 1938, he met the young cartoonist Denyse de Bravura with whom he became engaged. When war was declared in September 1939, he was mobilized and sent to the Alsace front. There he obtained a croix de guerre. While a technical problem prevented the transmission of the announcement of the armistice, he was killed on the front on June 18, 1940.

Marcel Khill (1912-1940) (Mustafa Marcel Belkacem) ‘Jean Cocteau’. Pen and ink. 9x7 inches. 1938. Inscribed by Cocteau on verso of frame: ‘Ce dessin de moi a ete / fait par Marcel Kill (sic) / a Montargis pendant / que j’ecrivais / Les Parents Terribles’. Khill became Cocteau’s secretary in 1932.

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