Pierre Étaix, 2011
23 November 1928 |
|Occupation||Actor, director, clown|
|Spouse(s)||Annie Violette Fratellini (1932–1997)|
Pierre Étaix (French: [etɛks]; born 23 November 1928) is a French clown, comedian and filmmaker. Étaix made a series of acclaimed short- and feature-length films in the 1960s, many of them co-written by influential screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. He has won an Academy Award. Due to a legal dispute with a distribution company, these films were unavailable for a long period. They have now been restored and are available again.
As an actor, assistant director and gag writer, Étaix has worked with the likes of Jacques Tati, Robert Bresson, Nagisa Oshima, Otar Iosseliani and Jerry Lewis, who cast the comedian in his unreleased film The Day the Clown Cried.
Born and raised in Roanne, France, Pierre Étaix moved to Paris in 1954. to work as an illustrator and cabaret performer  He met the filmmaker and clown Jacques Tati, and began to help Tati work on the project that later became Mon Oncle, on which Étaix served as assistant director. Two years later, Étaix made his first short films: Rupture and Heureux Anniversaire; the latter won Étaix an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. The films also marked the first produced screenplays of Étaix's co-writer, Jean-Claude Carrière, who would go on to an acclaimed career as the favorite collaborator of Luis Buñuel's late period.
Étaix continued making films throughout the 1960s before resuming his career as a clown in 1971, when he joined the touring company of the Pinder Circus. Since then he has authored several plays and books, including writing on film and clowning.
- Insomnie (1961) Short unreleased
- Heureux Anniversaire (1962) Short
- Le Soupirant (1962)
- Nous n'irons plus au bois (1961) Short unreleased
- Yoyo (1965)
- Tant qu'on a la santé (1966)
- Le Grand amour (1969)
- Pays de cocagne (1971) Documentary
- Souris noire (1987) Episode of TV series
- L'âge de Monsieur est avancé (1987)
- Méliès 88: Rêve d'artiste (1988) TV short
- J'écris dans l'espace (1989)
- En pleine forme (2010) Short
- Louis Delluc Prize, 1962, for Le Soupirant
- Special Diploma, 1963, for The Suitor at the 3rd Moscow International Film Festival
- Academy Award, Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects (1963), for Heureux anniversaire shared with Jean-Claude Carrière
- Telluride Film Festival Silver Medallion, 2011
- Aardman Slapstick Award for Excellence in Visual Comedy, 2012 at the Slaptick Comedy Festival Bristol Silents