Pierre Étaix was born in 1928 in Roanne, France. He was trained as a designer and introduced to the art of stained glass by Theodore Gerard Hanssen. Etaix basically built his career around the comic. He settled in Paris where he worked as an illustrator while performing in cabarets and music halls, including The Golden Horse, The Three Donkeys, ABC and the Alhambra, Bobino and Olympia, and that circus clown with Nino.
He met Jacques Tati in 1954 and worked as a draftsman and gagman on Tati’s film Mon Oncle, including the creation of the poster, then as assistant director on the film in 1958. He performed with his music-hall number, in 1960, in the sight of Jacques Tati: Feast Day at the Olympia. Pierre Étaix was a continuation of the great masters of slapstick as Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon, Max Linder, Charlie Chaplin, and Laurel and Hardy admires limitless and that he graphically rendered many respects.
His apprenticeship with the comic Jacques Tati construction, proper motion, the quite naturally lead to the realization of his first short break, he co-authored with Jean-Claude Carrière. The day after the shooting of the film, Pierre Étaix presented his producer the idea of his second short film Happy birthday, also co-authored with Jean-Claude Carrière. The film won, among others, the Oscar for best short film in 1963.
He directed his first feature film The Suitor in 1963 and Yoyo in 1964, where he paid homage to the circus world that fascinated him forever. He then directed two feature films Until we health (1965), The Great Love (1968) he co-authored with Carrière.
Faced with the scarcity of French circus artists, Pierre Étaix decided to found the National Circus School (1973) with Annie Fratellini (married in 1969), and wore a white clown suit during tours of their own circus, having long played the tramp. Etaix died from complications of an intestinal infection on 14 October 2016 in Paris. He was 87.
Courtesy of Wikipedia