Le Monde reports that Pierre Étaix, the Oscar-winning French comedian and filmmaker, has died at the age of 88. He’s best known for his acclaimed short- and feature-length films in the 1960’s, all of which were tied up in rights disputes for over 20 years until their eventual restoration and revival in 2012, courtesy of Janus Films. These films include “Le Grand Amour,” “As Long as You’ve Got Your Health,” “Land of Milk and Honey,” “Rupture,” “The Suitor,” and “Yoyo.”
Étaix began his career as a designer before meeting director Jacques Tati in 1954 when he worked as a gagman and assistant director on his film “Mon Oncle.” His apprenticeship with Tati eventually led to his collaboration with Jean-Claude Carrière, whom he wrote his short film “Happy Anniversary,” which won the Oscar for Best Short Subject in 1963. Étaix and Carrière would collaborate on the majority of Étaix’s subsequent directorial work.
Aside from his own projects, Étaix has worked with such acclaimed directors like Robert Bresson in his film “Pickpocket”, Nagisa Oshima in “Max, Mon Amour,” and Jerry Lewis, who cast him in his still-unreleased 1972 film “The Day the Clown Cried.”