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. 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 being received with only a moderate enthusiasm by his family, he had to learn a real profession. He then studied kinesiotherapy without renouncing acting.