09 February, 2009
Jean Poiret, born Jean Poiré was a French actor, director, and screenwriter. He is primarily known as the author of the original play La Cage Aux Folles.
Poiret first rose to prominence in 1951 playing the role of Fred Transport, one of the heroes of Pierre Dac and Francis Blanche's radio series Malheur aux Barbus. In 1952, he met his future co-star of La Cage Michel Serrault at the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre. Together, they starred in the sketch Jerry Scott, Vedette International
In 1961, Poiret, as a member of the French cinematic society Pathé, wrote and recorded La Vache à Mille Francs, a parody of La Valse à Mille Temps by Jacques Brel.
In 1973, Poiret wrote and starred in the stage play La Cage Aux Folles. Its film adaptation in 1978 eventually brought Poiret immense success. Although Poiret was replaced by Italian actor Ugo Tognazzi in the role of Renato Baldi, Serrault reprised his stage-role of Zaza Napoli and won a César Award for his work.
In 1992, Poiret directed his first and only film, Le Zèbre (The Zebra). This adaptation of Alexandre Jardin's novel starred Thierry Lhermitte and Mme. Poiret, Caroline Cellier. Unfortunately, Poiret died of a heart attack in Paris on 14 March 1992, three months before the film's premiere.