A List of Famous Players

Famous Players
You're not alone: many famous people like petanque!

One of our first orders, in 1991, came from David Lee Roth, of "Van Halen" fame. He had discovered the game while vacationing in French Polynesia.

Morley Safer ("60 Minutes") was an avid player, who once wrote an entire New York Times Magazine article about petanque and the appropriate dishes to go along with it. Not surprising, since he often played with famous chef Jacques Pepin!

Mick Jagger Mick Jagger once won $ 19,000 challenging a couple of his countrymen to a game of petanque while in Cannes. They had completely underestimated his skills.

Peter Gabriel - remember "Genesis" ? There's a movie called "Family Portrait" about his 2002-2003 tour with David Rhodes, Tony Levin, Ged Lynch and others, during which they spend a great deal of time playing petanque.

Diedrich Bader Diedrich Bader: better known as Oswald, on the Drew Carey Show.
We supplied him with new boules, and he has a marvelous court at home. Perhaps the fact that he grew up in Paris has something to do with his love for petanque! Who knows one day we'll organize a tournament for the famous players in the USA, just like they do in France (see our Monaco 2001 page).

Charles Schulz (of "Peanuts" comics fame) was intrigued enough by the game to dedicate a sunday panel to it: Snoopy contemplating the virtues of petanque, in his own charming way. Snoopy & petanque

Roger Moore once played a couple rounds of petanque at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills at the occasion of a Unicef Gala. He was up against a team of French celebrity chefs, but we don't know the final score.

Bill Cosby devoted one of his Cosby Shows to petanque in 1988. It was an hilarious episode!

In the same comedians department, there's also Rod Hull, Britain's famous comic and puppeteer who played weekly at his local club until his untimely death in 1999.

HRH Thailand HRH Princess  Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother of Thailand, played petanque almost daily, till well in her nineties. 

It is said that German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer would often play petanque to distract him from the stress of politics and World Affairs.

We also found out that Governor Bob Taft of Ohio really enjoys playing petanque with his friends and guests.

Konrad Adenauer
HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark (born in France) is Protector of the Danish Petanque Association. Also his and the Queens two sons Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joakim play petanque. The latter has recently built a court near his home with the help of the Danish Petanque Association. Not to forget Andrea Casiraghi, the oldest son of Princess Carolina of Monaco.

Martha Stewart invited famous French baker Lionel Poilane and chefs Georges Blanc and Pierre Troisgros on her program to prepare some succulent dishes. They then went on to New York City’s Central Park to play a game of petanque. Here you see the whole group with boules in the kitchen. Martha Stewart & French Chefs

Peter Mayle Peter Mayle - author of a.o. "A year in Provence", "Toujours Provence", "Encore Provence",etc - who spent many a lazy afternoon playing, concocted a very funny description of petanque and the influence of pastis on game tactics...

Another author, Georges Simenon, the Belgian writer of some 75 "Inspecteur Maigret" novels became quite good at the game while he was living in France.

We heard that Chuck Barris - known to all Americans as the host of "the Gong Show" - who at one time was also living in the South of France did play regularly.

Other well known names: Robert de Niro, Charles Bronson, Gina Lolobrigida, Robert Wagner, Omar Sharif, Anton Geesink, the late Prince Bertil of Sweden.

Of course there are hundreds of French celebrities who are (or were) petanque lovers.

Mireille Mathieu, Charles Aznavour, Jean Ferrat, Henry Salvador, Hugues Aufray, Annie Cordy, Sacha Distel

Charles Aznavour

Mireille Darc Actors:
Marlene (she's the one holding the boules in the top picture), Brigitte Bardot, Mireille Darc, Michelle de Brocca, Mylene Demongeot, Nadine Trintignant, Raimu, Fernandel, Yves Montand, Lino Ventura, Bourvil, Darry Cowl, Jean Lefevre

Movie directors:
Marcel Pagnol, Robert Enrico, Jose Giovanni, Roger Vadim, Henri Verneuil
Others: Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Eddie Barclay

Please send us more names, and together we'll build the official "FPP" (Famous Petanque Players) Site.

Thanks, Merci, Gracias, Obrigado, Danke, Bedankt !

Especially to the following contributors:
Tamara Meert (B), Jac Verheul (NL), Frank Pipal (USA), Henrik Egede Hansen (DK), Jan Toulon (USA), Stacey Drucker (USA)