French actor Jean Vilar primarily made his name on-stage as both a distinguished performer and a director. Following studies at the University of Montpellier and the University of Paris, he worked as a jazz musician. He then began his acting and directorial career. The few sojourns Vilar made into feature films were generally memorable ones. A one-time director of the Theatre National Populaire, Vilar served as the manager of the Palais de Chaillot from 1951 until 1963.