Jean-Louis Barrault was a French actor, director and mime artist, training that served him well when he portrayed the 19th-century mime Jean-Gaspard Deburau in Marcel Carne’s film Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise, 1945) and part of an international cast in The Longest Day (1962).
Jean-Louis Barrault studied with Charles Dullin in whose troupe he acted from 1933 to 1935. At 25 years of age, he met and studied with the mime Etienne Decroux (who played Baptiste’s father in the Carne film).
From 1940 to 1946 Barrault was a member of the Comedie-Française, where he directed productions of Paul Claudel’s Le Soulier de satin and Jean Racine’s Phedre,two plays that made his reputation. Over his career, he acted in nearly 50 movies including Les beaux jours, Jenny, L’Or dans la Montagne and Under Western Eyes.