Newswire: R.I.P. Pierre Étaix, clown and Oscar-winning filmmaker
Pierre Étaix, the French clown, actor, and film director who won an Oscar for his 1962 short film Happy Anniversary and counted some of the world’s greatest filmmakers among his loyal fans, has died. Le Monde reports that the cause of death was an intestinal infection. Étaix was 87.
Born in 1928 in Roanne, Étaix initially studied to be a graphic designer, a background that he would often draw on for his act and subsequent film work. Influenced by the silent comedy of the stone-faced Buster Keaton and the dapper Max Linder, he established himself in the music halls of Paris in the early 1950s.
There, he caught the attention of actor-director Jacques Tati, who hired Étaix to come help him write gags for Mon Oncle (1958), his celebrated second outing as the clumsy, pipe-smoking Monsieur Hulot. Étaix was closely involved in the years-long process of developing the film …