Pierre Etaix has worn many hats during his long show-business career. He has been a mime, a circus performer, cabaret artist, screenwriter, filmmaker, instructor and more. Born in Roanne, France, Etaix started out as a painter. He began in film as a production assistant in 1949, and during the late 1950s he became a joke-writer for Jacques Tati. In 1959, Etaix appeared as an actor in Bresson's Pickpocket. In the early 1960s, he began working in music halls, clubs and on television with Nino the clown. He also launched his filmmaking career with two short comedy films made in conjunction with Jean-Claude Carriere. One of those films, Heureux Anniversire, won an Oscar. He began appearing in feature comedies in 1962 and he has starred in every film he has directed.