One of his country's most popular and prolific funnymen, French actor, comedian, writer, and director Michel Blanc has made a career out of turning the mundane into the sublime. Short, bald, and bearing unremarkable features, Blanc derives his charisma from his presence as a performer who is equally adept at portraying the extremes of comic excess or psychological drama, the latter of which he demonstrated with particular aplomb in Monsieur Hire.
Born in Paris on June 16, 1952, Blanc did his secondary studies at the Pasteur school in Neuilly. It was there that he became acquainted with Josiane Balasko, Thierry Lhermitte, Christian Clavier, Gérard Jugnot, and Marie-Anne Chazel, with whom he would form the legendary comedy troupe Le Splendid. In addition to performing a number of shows, the group also collaborated onscreen, their most notable effort being the farce Les Bronzés (1978). The film and its sequel Les Bronzés Font du Ski (1979), proved to be hugely successful in France -- and were two of the country's most domestically profitable films to date.