Patrick Bruel (born Maurice Benguigui, on May 14, 1958 in Tlemcen, then French Algeria) is a French singer, actor, and professional poker player of Jewish descent.
Patrick is the son of Pierre Benguigui and Augusta Kammoun, daughter of Elie and Céline ben Sidoun. His family became French in 1870 when the Crémieux Decree granted full French citizenship to the indigenous Jews of French Algeria.
Although Bruel aspired to be a football (soccer) star as a youth, he decided to pursue singing after seeing Michel Sardou in 1975. His first success came as an actor, however, in 1979's Le Coup de sirocco. He continued acting in films, on television and in the theater while pursuing his singing career. His first single, "Vide" ("Empty"), released in 1982, was not a success, but the follow-up, "Marre de cette nana-là" ("Fed up with that chick"), was a hit.
In 2003, he had his last name officially changed to Bruel-Benguigui, his stage name with his birthname, before his partner, the writer and playwright, Amanda Sthers gave birth to his first child, Oscar, on August 19. On September 21, 2004, he wed the 24-year-old Sthers; it is his first marriage. His second child, Léon was born on the 28th September, 2005. The couple separated in 2007.
As of 2004 Bruel has acted in more than 40 different television and film productions and made five studio albums and several live albums. In 2002 Bruel released Entre Deux, a double CD of classic chanson that features duets with Charles Aznavour, Jean-Louis Aubert, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Alain Souchon and Renaud, among others. It sold two million copies and made Bruel France's best paid singer of the year. At the beginning of 2005, in response to the South Asian tsunami of December 26, 2004, Bruel wrote the song "Et puis la terre" to benefit the Red Cross. His latest album "Des souvenir devant" was his 4th charttopper in France.
In addition to acting and singing, Bruel is a world class professional poker player. He won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 1998 for the $5,000 Limit Hold'em event. As of 2009 he has earned more than $900,000 in live tournament play. His 10 cashes at the WSOP account for $411,659 of those winnings. He also comments the World Poker Tour in his home country.
He owns the popular French poker forum Wam-Poker and is a shareholder in the online poker room Winamax. Fanart Banner