Jean Renoir (15 September 1894 – 12 February 1979) was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s. His films Grand Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939) are often cited by critics as among the greatest films ever made. He was ranked by the BFI's Sight & Sound poll of critics in 2002 as the fourth greatest director of all time. Among numerous honors accrued during his lifetime, he received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1975 for his contribution to the motion picture industry. Renoir was the son of the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Renoir was born in the Montmartre district of Paris, France. He was the second son of Aline (née Charigot) Renoir and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the renowned painter. His elder brother was Pierre Renoir, a French stage and film actor, and his younger brother Claude Renoir (1901–1969) had a brief minor career in the film industry, mostly assisting on a few of Jean's films. Renoir was also the uncle of Claude Renoir (1913–1993), the son of Pierre, a cinematographer who worked with Jean Renoir on several of his films.
Renoir was largely raised by Gabrielle Renard, his nanny and his mother's cousin, with whom he developed a strong bond. Shortly before his birth, she had come to live with the Renoir family. She introduced the young boy to the Guignol puppet shows in Montmartre, which influenced his later film career. He wrote in his 1974 memoirs My Life and My Films, "She taught me to see the face behind the mask and the fraud behind the flourishes. She taught me to detest the cliché." Gabrielle was also fascinated by the new motion-picture invention, and when Renoir was only a few years old she took him to see his first film...
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