One of France's most respected and prolific actors, Michel Serrault has appeared in over 100 films since making his debut in Henri-Georges Clouzot's Les Diaboliques in 1954. Born January 24, 1928, in Brunoy, Serrault got his start as a singer and member of Robert Dhery's theater troupe. After his debut as Mr. Raymond in Les Diaboliques, he went on to do decades of steady work in films of widely varying quality. Serrault's expressive facial features and sad, hound dog eyes made him ideal for comic character work, so it was perhaps unsurprising that he became best known internationally for playing flamboyant drag queen Albin/Za Za in La Cage aux Folles (1978) opposite Ugo Tognazzi (with whom he was frequently paired).
Serrault spent his entire career in French films and often appeared with Jean Poiret in both film and stage productions. He has received many awards for his work, including a Best Actor César for Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995). Even in his advanced age, Serrault has managed to remain vibrant, starring alongside timeless screen siren Jeanne Moreau in The Old Lady Who Wades in the Sea (La Vielle Qui Marchait Dans la Mer) (1991) and working with younger talent like Mathieu Kassovitz in Assassin(s) in 1997. The actor died on July 29, 2007 of cancer in Honfleur, France.