A former medical student, Alain Cuny briefly pursued a painting career, entering the French film industry in the early '30s as a set and costume designer. In 1941 he turned to acting, at first playing leading roles but later specializing in character parts as priests and aesthetes. Most American audiences first caught up with Cuny when he played the villainous cleric Claude Frollo in the Anthony Quinn version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1956). He worked frequently in the films of Federico Fellini, playing the anguished intellectual Steiner in La Dolce Vita (1960) and Lycas in Fellini Satyricon (1970). Alain Cuny's final screen role was as the title character's father in Camille Claudel (1988).