Jean Poiret

Jean Poiret

Despite the great effort and amount of work Jean Poiret did in the acting arena, he is mostly remembered today as the author of a hugely popular play and movie. "La Cage aux Folles," written when he was deep into his primary career, is a lighthearted sex comedy that had a long theatrical run and a massive following. It was also adapted into a wildly successful 1978 film that spawned a sequel and a Hollywood remake ('96's "The Birdcage"). Poiret was born in Paris and built his career there. After World War II, he gained prominence as a theater and radio actor, which soon led to film roles. He was a familiar presence on French film screens throughout his life, appearing in supporting roles in such efforts as the '53 adaptation of "The Three Musketeers" and François Truffaut's "The Last Metro" ('80), a romantic drama set in Nazi-occupied Paris. Poiret wrote "La cage aux Folles" in the early '70s and it became a huge hit when it landed on the stage in '73, running for many years. The original cast featured Poiret and his friend and frequent collaborator Michel Serrault as co-stars, although Poiret was replaced by Ugo Tognazzi in the film version.