Manuel Tadros began his artistic career as a singer-songwriter at the end of the 1970s. Since 1994 he has stood out as an actor in films and television series, and as a presenter of programs. Youth Y pop express.
In the world of dubbing, he has participated in nearly 1,000 films and still composes songs for a good number of artists. His father, a jeweler, and his mother, a seamstress, instilled in him the values of life.
Manuel Tadros is also a great builder of Old Montreal.
You were born in Cairo.
Yes. My father taught me the fables de La Fontaine and at the age of 5 knew how to read and write.
When you were 7 years old, you went on a college tour.
My elementary teacher organized a reading tour of fables from the source He simply told academics: “This is the way to read a Fable from the source”.
What were your hobbies?
There were no streets or alleys to play, so we would go to the field or the parish gym to play bocce, ping pong and soccer.
You spent your summers by the Mediterranean Sea.
The school holidays lasted three months. I was staying at a summer camp in Ras El Bar, located by the Mediterranean Sea, which was run by Father Amba Dambé. From time to time, the whole family would come to join me.
The family fled Cairo.
We are Christians, so life was sometimes difficult for our parents. Let me explain what my father suffered under the reign of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Have you been threatened?
There was a cross nailed to the door inviting people to burn down the house. In peace, my father raised money to flee the country in 1966.
In what part of Montreal did you live?
I was 10 years old and we lived in an apartment located in the Parc-Extension district. That is to say that my father, my mother, my brother, my sister and I shared a large room, because our accommodation was not yet furnished.
The first time you saw snow was?
On October 30, 1966, I was ten years old when, at 3 in the morning, my father woke up the whole family to look at this white powder. I even ventured outside to throw snowballs.
The next day is Halloween.
We did not know this tradition. My father was so frustrated opening the door that he yelled at the parents: “Leave us alone, we are political refugees.”
At Barthélemy-Vimont Elementary School, that was your life lesson.
You must not forget that I was apart from the others. I had to fight often, but luckily there were other students who stood up for me. Then, at my secondary school in Saint-Luc, they accepted me.
You speak several languages.
In Cairo I spoke my mother tongue, French, Arabic and Italian. Once I arrived in Quebec, I learned Quebec at Barthélemy-Vimont Elementary School, English and Spanish during a school exchange in Spain.
You played hockey and baseball.
I learned to skate to play hockey. I had a good pitch in baseball, however, at Cégep Saint-Laurent, I excelled in volleyball and handball. It was difficult at times, because at the age of 13 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
You had your first guitar at 12.
My loving father made great sacrifices to give me this gift that launched my singing career. I went to my music lessons on rue de l’Épée.
What is your first job?
I worked with my father in a jewelry store and as a packer in Steinberg. I also worked as a table singer with my guitar on my shoulder in two restaurants.
Was your first car used?
A rusty Toyota that I scrapped. I then bought a Datsun and soon after proposed to my future wife, Diane. Her father, who worked at GM, told me, “You don’t have the idea of taking your future wife for a ride in a Datsun.” Traded in my car for a GM.
Your singing career in Old Montreal.
Michel Gélinas, who ran the Hôtel Iroquois, recommended that I change my career, because I had no talent, but just a hundred meters further I stopped at the Saint-Vincent and that was the beginning of a career of more than forty years.
Robert Ruel believed in you.
My good friend Robert Ruel, who is currently experiencing serious health problems, came to see me at one of my seven performances a night at the Saint-Vincent where people sang standing up on Rue Saint-Vincent. He comes up to me and says: “You finished your classes, follow me, I’ll take you to Saint-Damase”, which later became the Les 2 Pierrots music club.
You wanted to be a doctor.
It was my father’s dream that he was unable to realize due to the accident on May 13, 1927. He sacrificed his dream to help his family. After a year at the Cégep Saint-Laurent, he changed his professional direction.
You have two wonderful children.
The eldest, Jean-Philippe, who suffers from Hartsfield syndrome, a rare genetic developmental defect, is a movie enthusiast and an excellent bowler. We often spent Sundays at the movies. I must say that the support of his mother, Diane, my first wife, is remarkable.
How do you feel about being the “of” parent?
First, let me describe my wife Emilie, thanks to whom my life is full of happiness. As for being the father of “Xavier Dolan”, it is very gratifying, since we are currently sharing an emotional family dance.
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