Pierre Richard (real name: Pierre Richard Maurice Charles Léopold Defay) is a French film actor, film director and screenwriter.
He was born in Valenciennes, France on 16 August 1934.
The grandson of a successful entrepreneur, Pierre Richard benefited from a comfortable bourgeois upbringing but he made up his mind at an early age that his future lay in show business not commerce. After making his stage debut in the early 1960s, he formed a successful cabaret act with Victor Lanoux before landing his first significant film role in Yves Robert's Alexandre le bienheureux (1968). Impressed by Richard's potential, Robert produced his directorial debut feature, Le Distrait (1970), in which the comic actor's famous screen alter ego - the likeable frizzy haired buffoon - made his first appearance. Yves Robert then directed Richard in Le Grand blond avec une chaussure noire (1972), one of the most popular French comedies of the decade, and its inevitable sequel. Le Jouet (1976) marked the beginning of another happy collaboration, between Richard and the screenwriter-director Francis Veber. Over the next decade, Veber gave Richard some of his finest screen outings, including his memorable pairing with Gérard Depardieu in La Chèvre (his most popular film), Les Compères and Les Fugitifs. In 1987, Richard travelled to Cuba to make a documentary on the revolutionary Che Guevara. By the 1990s, Pierre Richard's popularity had waned considerably since his heyday, but he still enjoyed an active career on film, stage and television, eager to extend his repertoire with some challenging dramatic roles, such as his Robinson Crusoë in a well-received television drama of 2003. In 2006, Pierre Richard received an honorary César for his life's work, and he remains as enthusiastic about his work as ever.
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