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A memoir by the critically acclaimed actor Cliff Simon.
Paris Nights, the memoir of a South African soldier turned performer in the world's most famous cabaret, delivers in a hugely entertaining way. He writes of Paris as no one has done before, the after-dark city of night clubs, dance groupies, street fights, and shady characters. His is a truly singular story, and it's told with humor, swagger, and absolute honesty." --Marcia DeSanctis, author of 100 Places in France Ever Woman Should Go
Little did Cliff Simon know that a single phone call and a one-way ticket to Paris would ultimately change his life forever. Now the acclaimed television and film actor shares his journey from Johannesburg to the Moulin Rouge to Hollywood in his debut memoir, Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge.
From a young age Cliff Simon knew he was headed towards big places. Having grown up as both a skilled gymnast and a competitive swimmer, performance was in his blood. But with the onset of Apartheid and the looming threat of war, he and his Jewish family soon retreated from Johannesburg, South Africa to the London countryside. Before he knew it, he joined the British swim team and was near Olympics-bound with a full-ride offer to a United States university. But something wasn't quite right. Instead, Cliff returned home and enlisted in the South African Air Force. Cliff's habit of impulsive risk-taking would continue but ultimately pave the foundation for an experience most of us would only dream of.
After he was honorably discharged, twenty-seven-year-old Cliff worked a series of odd jobs at a resort near the Indian Ocean until he received a phone call from an old friend inviting him to join him at the iconic Moulin Rouge. Here begins the story of Cliff's meteoric rise at the Moulin from swing dancer to principal in the glamour filled show, Formidable; his offstage encounters with street thugs and diamond smugglers; and the long nights filled with after parties and his pick of gorgeous women. Encounter the magic, the mayhem, and the glory that was and still is the Moulin Rouge.