A French actor known for his work in a number of comedies, Alain Chabat is probably best-known to American audiences for his role as Victoria Abril's philandering husband in the sex comedy Gazon Maudit (French Twist, 1995).
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Born in Oran, Algeria, on November 24, 1958, Chabat grew up in Massy, a suburb of Paris. Never an enthusiastic student, he quit 12 schools over the course of his education and nurtured a passion for music and comics. Through a series of circumstances, Chabat ended up working for the cable network Canal+; during the late '80s, while still employed there, he made the acquaintance of actors Dominique Farrugia, Chantal Lauby, and Bruno Carette, with whom he wrote television sketches and formed a lasting creative partnership. Following the death of Carette, Chabat, Farrugia, and Lauby wrote their first film, La Cite de la Peur: Une Comedie Familiale (1994). A comic parody of horror and detective films, it established the sort of work with which Chabat would become largely associated throughout his career.
A staple of many of France's comedy spoofs throughout the '90s, Chabat earned a fair amount of international recognition for his performance in Josiane Balasko's aforementioned Gazon Maudit. In 1997, he wrote, directed, and starred in the popular Didier, a comedy that cast him as the human incarnation of a dog. Chabat earned a César for his direction of the film, and he has continued to enjoy popularity as one of his country's most steadily employed comic actors. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi