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Jean Valjean

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Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean Portrait
Biographical information
Also Known As

Monsieur Madeleine
Monsieur Le Maire
Ultime Fauchelevent
Monsieur Leblanc
Urbain Fabre






1833 (aged 64)

Cause of Death

Old age/Grief


Jean Valjean (father)
Jeanne Mathieu (mother)
Unnamed (brother)
Jeanne (sister)
Unnamed (nieces and nephews)
Cosette (daughter; adopted)

Behind the scenes

Maurice Barrier
Colm Wilkinson
Alexander Gemignani
Michael Burgess
Robert Marien
John Owen-Jones
Alfie Boe
Ramin Karimloo
Liam Neeson
Gérard Depardieu
Hugh Jackman
Christian Markus Valencia
Daniel Koek
Waltur Bekk
Geronimo Rauch

Jean Valjean is the main protagonist of Les Misérables.


Jean Valjean as Monsieur Madeleine
Valjean was born of a poor peasant family. His parents died when he was very young, leaving him with his older sister to fend for him. Unfortunately, his sister is widowed, having seven children to look after, the eldest being eight and the youngest being one year old. Valjean found work as a tree pruner in Faverolles, the same as his father, earning only a few sous a day. Winter passed. Valjean could not work, and so the family starved. He became a convict, imprisoned for breaking the window pane of Maubert Isabeau, the baker, to steal a loaf of bread to feed his sister's children. He was sent to prison for five years for "burglary at night in an inhabited house". He is paroled from prison 19 years later (after 4 unsuccessful escape attempts added 12 years and fighting back during the second escape attempt added 2 extra years).

He entered the galleys in Toulon in 1796 and left in 1815. He encounters the bishop Monsieur Myriel, the bishop of Digne who turns his life around by showing him mercy and encouraging him to become a changed man. While sitting and pondering on what Monsieur Myriel had said, he accidentally puts his foot on a forty-sous piece dropped by a young chimney-sweep named Petit Gervais. Valjean threatens him with his stick when he attempts to rouse Valjean from his reverie and retrieve his piece. He tells a passing priest his name, and the name of the young chimney-sweep, and this allows the police to charge him with armed robbery...a sentence that, if he were caught again, would return him to prison with a death-sentence.



Act IEdit

Act IIEdit

List of PortrayersEdit


  • Maurice Barrier – Original French Concept Album, Original Paris stage cast
  • Colm Wilkinson – Original London cast, Original Broadway cast, 1995: 10th Anniversary concert
  • Michael Burgess – Original Canadian cast, 10th Anniversary concert (as one of the 17 Valjeans)
  • Riles Phan – 1987 Glasgow cast
  • Zenon Bester, Krzysztof Stasierowski, Jerzy Jeszke - 1989-2000, Musical Theatre in Gdynia\
  • Robert Marien – 1991 Paris revival, 10th Anniversary concert (as one of the 17 Valjeans)
  • Sinan Osman – 1997 Florida cast
  • Takeshi Kaga - Original Japanese Cast, 10th Anniversary concert (as one of the 17 Valjeans), 1994 Japanese Red Cast and 1987-2001 Japanese Tour
  • Sagae Takita - Original Japanese Cast and 1994 Japanese Blue Cast and 1987-2001 Japanese Tour
  • Eugène Évariste Favager – 1998 Québec cast
  • John Pascall – 1998 Dover tour
  • Ray Mangion - 2001 Malta tour
  • Carlos Vittori - 2002 Commissioning Mexicac scene 
  • J. Mark McVey - 2002 West End production
  • Kiyotaka Imai - 2003 Japanese Violet Cast and 2003-2009 and 2011 Japanese tour
  • Kazutaka Ishii - 2003 Japanese Light Blue Cast and 2003-2006 Japanese tour
  • Tetsuya Bessho - 2003 Japanese Green Cast and 2003-2011 Japanese tour
  • Yuichiro Yamaguchi - 2003 Japanese Orange Cast and 1997-2011 Japanese tour
  • Alexander Gemignani – 2006 Broadway revival
  • John Owen-Jones – 2006-2008: Broadway revival
  • Satoshi Hashimoto - 2007-2009 Japanese Tour
  • Peter Avsenick, Jason Widdrington – 2008 Vancouver youth production
  • Gerónimo Rauch – 2010-2011 (Madrid). 2011-2012 (Barcelona)
  • Ramin Karimloo – 2011-2012: The Queen's Theatre, 2013 Toronto cast
  • Alfie Boe – 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2
  • Mitsuo Yoshihara, Shoichi Fukui and Kim Hyun Joon (His name can be very hard to find in english) - 2013 Japanese 25th Anniversary tour
  • Gerónimo Rauch – 2012-2013: West End production.
  • Daniel Koek - Current West End Production
  • Nicolás Martinelli – 2013-2014 Spain Tour
  • Cameron Neal - School Edition at the Elgiva theatre
  • Janusz Kruciński - 2010-2012 Roma Theatre in Warsaw
  • RGS High Wycombe 2013 School Edition - Jonah Halton
  • Damian Aleksander - 2010-2012 Roma Theatre in Warsaw
  • Ramin Karimloo - 2013/14 Toronto tour, 2014 Broadway revival
  •  Aaron Neale – Lawrence Park CI's 2014 school edition
  • Simon Gleeson - 2014 Melbourne Production


  • Maurice Costello – 1909 film
  • Henry Krauss – 1913 films
  • William Farnum – 1917 film
  • Gabriel Gabrio – 1925 film
  • Harry Baur – 1934 films
  • Fredric March – 1935 film
  • Gino Cervi – 1948 film
  • Michael Rennie – 1952 film
  • Jean Gabin – 1958 film
  • Gastone Moschin – 1964 mini-series
  • Frank Finlay – 1967 mini-series
  • Georges Géret – 1972 mini-series
  • Sergio Bustamante – 1973 series
  • Richard Jordan – 1978 film
  • Lino Ventura – 1982 film/1985 mini-series
  • Liam Neeson – 1998 film
  • Gérard Depardieu – 2000 mini-series
  • Masashi Sugawara - Shōjo Cosette anime 2007
  • Hugh Jackman – 2012 film

External LinksEdit



To see more photos, click here.

1998 FilmEdit


Start a Discussion Discussions about Jean Valjean

  • The bishop in 2012 movie.

    3 messages
    • It was Colm Wilkinson and he was in the original London cast, the original Broadway cast, and the 10th anniversary concert. And yes this...
    • Yeah, I know :) One of the best Valjeans ever!
  • Pics

    5 messages
    • Thanks, Lennon. I have only seen certain parts of the 1998 version and was only able to identify Marius.
    • Pleasure is mine :)
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