Pierre-Richard Maurice Charles Léopold Defays
16 August 1934
|Occupation||Actor, director, screenwriter|
Pierre Richard (born Pierre-Richard Maurice Charles Léopold Defays; 16 August 1934) is a French actor, film director and screenwriter, best known for the roles of a clumsy daydreamer in comedy films. Pierre Richard is considered by many, such as Louis de Funès and Gérard Depardieu, to be one of the greatest and most talented French comedians in the last 50 years. He is also a film director and occasional singer.
Pierre Richard was born in a bourgeois family from Valenciennes. He is the grandson of Léopold Defays who was the director of the company Escaut-et-Meuse. His name comes from the stage name of Pierre Richard-Willm who was his mother's favorite actor. Pierre Richard spent his childhood and a part of his teenage years in his native city where he was a student at the Henri-Wallon high school.
Skipping classes regularly to go to the cinema, it was Danny Kaye in Up in Arms that revealed his vocation. This was received with only a moderate enthusiasm by his family, but he decided nonetheless to go to Paris to study dramatic arts at the famous Ecole Charles Dullin. His debuts were far from brilliant (he wanted to play straight drama, which was not in his nature) and he studied kinesiotherapy to have a safety exit if needed, but he didn't renounce acting.
After a short stint as an extra at Jean Vilar's Théâtre National Populaire, Pierre Richard started his career with Antoine Bourseiller and, to augment his income, created a comedy duet with Victor Lanoux. They performed with great success in famous Parisian cabarets and music-halls sketches they had written themselves. He then began his film career in 1968 in the film Alexandre le Bienheureux (Very Happy Alexander) directed by Yves Robert. In 1970, he directed his first film Le Distrait, followed by Les Malheurs d'Alfred (1972) and Je ne sais rien mais je dirai tout (I Don't Know Much, But I'll Say Everything) (1973). He worked again with Yves Robert for the film Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe) (1973) and its sequel The Return of the Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1974), both written by Francis Veber, who then cast him in the main role in his directorial film debut, Le Jouet (The Toy) (1976). Their partnership achieved further success in three successful comedies of the early 1980s, La Chèvre (1981), Les Compères (1983) and Les Fugitifs (1986), which paired Richard with Gérard Depardieu. Richard returned behind the camera to direct On peut toujours rêver (1991) and Droit dans le mur (1997).
Among his most famous film roles, Pierre Richard came to play different characters with the same name but without any link between them. He is named :
- François Perrin in the films :
- The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe and The Return of the Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, a violinist used as a "booby trap" and taken as a secret agent,
- On aura tout vu, a photographer who writes a script and sells it to a producer of pornographic films (Jean-Pierre Marielle),
- The Toy, an unemployed journalist bought as a toy in a big store by the son of a powerful and wealthy businessman (Michel Bouquet),
- La Chèvre, an incredibly unlucky accountant sent to Mexico and assistant of a private detective (Gérard Depardieu) ;
- Pierre Renaud in the films :
- Je suis timide mais je me soigne, a hotel cashier suffering of a sickly shyness and attempting to seduce a rich customer with the help of a marital agent (Aldo Maccione),
- C'est pas moi, c'est lui, a ghostwriter writing for the same author and getting his chance working for a famous producer (Aldo Maccione) ;
- François Pignon in the films :
- Les Compères, a depressive unemployed teacher, in charge of an investigation with a macho journalist (Gérard Depardieu),
- Les Fugitifs, a father of a five-year-old girl, unemployed for three years, attempts a bank robbery and forces a former burglar (Gérard Depardieu) to accompany him as he leaves the scene.
Since 1986, Pierre Richard has also become a businessman and winemaker. He owns the restaurant Au pied de chameau in Paris and a 50-hectare vineyard which produces some 80,000 bottles a year (red and rosé) labelled as Château Bel Évêque in Gruissan in the department of Aude.
Married and divorced three times, he has two sons who are both actors and musicians, Olivier is a group member of "Blues trottoir" and plays the saxophone whereas Christophe plays the double bass. His grandson, Arthur Defays, is a model and actor.
Pierre Richard has played in all the films he has directed.
|1958||Montparnasse 19||uncredited||Jacques Becker|
|1967||Alexandre le Bienheureux||Colibert||Yves Robert|
|Un idiot à Paris||a policeman||Serge Korber|
|1968||La Prisonnière||uncredited||Henri-Georges Clouzot|
|1969||La Coqueluche||Pierre||Christian-Paul Arrighi|
|1970||Le Distrait (Absent-minded aka. The Daydreamer)||Pierre Malaquet||Pierre Richard|
|Trois Hommes sur un cheval||the painter||Marcel Moussy|
|1972||Les malheurs d'Alfred||Alfred Dhumonttyé||Pierre Richard|
|Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire||François Perrin||Yves Robert|
|1973||La Raison du plus fou||the learner||Raymond Devos and François Reichenbach|
|Je sais rien, mais je dirai tout||Pierre Gastié-Leroy||Pierre Richard|
|1974||Juliette and Juliette||Bob Rozenec||Remo Forlani|
|Un nuage entre les dents||Prévot||Marco Pico|
|La moutarde me monte au nez (Lucky Pierre)||Pierre Durois||Claude Zidi|
|Le Retour du Grand Blond||François Perrin||Yves Robert|
|1975||Trop c'est trop||cameo appearance||Didier Kaminka|
|La Course à l'échalote||Pierre Vidal||Claude Zidi|
|1976||On aura tout vu||François Perrin||Georges Lautner|
|Les Naufragés de l'île de la Tortue||Jean-Arthur Bonaventure||Jacques Rozier|
|Le Jouet (The Toy)||François Perrin||Francis Veber|
|1978||Je suis timide mais je me soigne||Pierre Renaud||Pierre Richard|
|La Carapate||Jean-Philippe Duroc||Gérard Oury|
|1980||C'est pas moi, c'est lui||Pierre Renaud||Pierre Richard|
|Le Coup du parapluie (The Umbrella Coup)||Grégoire Lecomte||Gérard Oury|
|1981||La Chèvre (Knock on Wood)||François Perrin||Francis Veber|
|1983||Un chien dans un jeu de quilles||Pierre Cohen||Bernard Guillou|
|Les Compères (ComDads)||François Pignon||Francis Veber|
|1984||Le Jumeau (The Twin)||Matthias et Mathieu Duval||Yves Robert|
|1985||Tranches de vie||Dubois||François Leterrier|
|1986||Les Fugitifs||François Pignon||Francis Veber|
|À gauche en sortant de l'ascenseur (Door on the Left as You Leave the Elevator)||Yann Ducoudray||Édouard Molinaro|
|1990||Promotion canapé||cameo appearance||Didier Kaminka|
|Bienvenue à bord !||the hitchhiker||Jean-Louis Leconte|
|1991||On peut toujours rêver||Charles de Boisleve||Pierre Richard|
|1992||Vieille canaille||Charlie||Gérard Jourd'hui|
|1993||La Cavale des fous||Bertrand Daumale||Marco Pico|
|1994||La Partie d'échecs||Ambroise||Yves Hanchar|
|1995||L'Amour conjugal||Squirrat||Benoît Barbier|
|1997||A Chef in Love (Shekvarebuli kulinaris ataserti retsepti)||Pascal Ichak||Nana Dzhordzhadze|
|Droit dans le mur||Romain||Pierre Richard|
|2000||27 Missing Kisses||Captain||Nana Dzhordzhadze|
|2003||Mariées mais pas trop||Maurice Donnay||Catherine Corsini|
|Les Clefs de bagnole (The Car Keys)||as himself||Laurent Baffie|
|2004||En attendant le déluge||Jean-René||Damien Odoul|
|2005||Le Cactus||Christian||Gérard Bitton and Michel Munz|
|2006||Essaye-moi||Yves-Marie's father||Pierre-François Martin-Laval|
|Le Serpent (The Serpent)||Cendras||Eric Barbier|
|2008||Faubourg 36||Max||Christophe Barratier|
|King Guillaume||William-Fernand||Pierre-François Martin-Laval|
|Cinéman||cameo appearance||Yann Moix|
|A Happy Man (Le Bonheur de Pierre)||Pierre Martin||Robert Ménard|
|2011||All Together||Albert||Stéphane Robelin|
|2012||Mes héros||Jean||Éric Besnard|
|2016||Lost in Paris||Norman||Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon|
|2017||Mr. Stein Goes Online||Monsieur Pierre||Stéphane Robelin|
|2018||Mrs. Mills||Albert Dupont, alias Mrs. Scarlett Mills / Mr. Rosenberg / Léonard Chomsky.||Sophie Marceau|
|2018||Les Vieux Fourneaux||Pierrot||Christophe Duthuron|
- Pierre Richard (1989). Olivier Orban (ed.). Le petit blond dans un grand parc.
- Pierre Richard (2003). Cherche-Midi (ed.). Comme un poisson sans eau, détournement de mémoire.
- Pierre Richard; Gwendal Le Bec (2010). Gallimard Jeunesse Giboulées (ed.). Le petit blond avec un mouton blanc. Paris. p. 75. ISBN 978-2-07-062104-0.
- Pierre Richard and Jérémie Imbert, Je sais rien mais je dirai tout (autobiography). Preface by Gérard Depardieu. Éditions Flammarion, 2015.
- Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 1996 : Best Actor for A Chef in Love
- Just for Laughs Festival of Montréal 2004 : Honorary Prize
- 31st César Awards 2006 : Honorary Cesar
- Magritte Awards 2015 (Belgium) : Honorary Prize
- Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour
- Un jour, un destin : Pierre Richard, l'incompris (A film by Laurent Allen-Caron). Broadcast on France 2 on 6 September 2015 and again on 31 December 2015.
- Pierre Richard, the quiet one directed by Gregory Monro in 2018
- "Pierre Richard : tendre inadapté". Les Échos (in French). 7 May 2015.
- "Pierre Richard, l'incompris" (in French). France 2. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- "L'école buissonnière a réussi à Pierre Richard". La Voix du Nord (in French). 25 April 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013.
- "Château Bel Évêque" (in French). Gault Millau. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
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