Yves is said to be the model of the Looney Tunes cartoon character Pepe Le Peu.
As the protege of Edith Piaf, Yves regularly performed at the famed nightclub Moulin Rouge.
In June of 1939 Yves sang his first original song titled "Dans les plaines du Far West" at a concert as in Alcazar. Before that he sang covers of other people's hits.
Yves has two siblings, Lydia (born in 1915) and Giuliano (born in 1917).
In 1953, his film Le Salaire de la Peur won the Grand Prize at the Cannes film festival. This was his first critically acclaimed movie.
Yves was born Ivo Livi, but later changed his name. He chose the name Yves Montand because of his childhood memory of his mother calling, "Ivo! Monta!" when it was time for him to come inside.
Yves idolized Fred Astaire when he was a young man trying to break into show business.
In 1921 Yves' family fled Fascist Italy for France with the intention of continuing on to the United States, but instead they remained in Marseille. The family was granted French citizenship in 1929.
Before he died, Yves was accused of fathering a child with a French woman named Aurore Drossart. She attempted to get a court order for a paternity test. After he died she succeeded in getting a court order to exhume his body for a DNA test, but the test proved that he was not the child's father.
Many biographies of Yves incorrectly state that he was Jewish, citing his birth name Ivo Livi, which they claim is an alternate spelling of Levi. Montand's own autobiography states however that he is descended from Catholic peasant farmers.
Yves and his parents fled from Italy in 1921, after Mussolini formed the fascist party. His father, Giovanni Livi, was minor official in the French Communist Party in Marseilles when Yves was a teenager. Montand himself later joined the Communist Party and stayed with the Party until 1968, when he learned that Czechoslovakia had been invaded by the Soviet Union.
In 1987, Yves served as the President of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Yves was asked to appear on Late Night With David Letterman after one of his most critically accalimed film roles, Cesar Soubeyran in the 1986 movie Jean de Florette.