A versatile character actor who maintains a busy schedule in both Europe and the United States, Patrick Bauchau was born in Brussels, Belgium, on December 6, 1938. His father, Henry Bauchau, was a noted author, psychoanalyst, and philosopher, while his mother was an educator who also helped operate a publishing company. Coming from an intellectual family, it's not surprising that Bauchau won an academic scholarship to Oxford University, where he received a degree in Modern Languages. In the early '60s, Bauchau became interested in film, and worked as an assistant to French filmmaker Eric Rohmer; this led to Bauchau being cast as Adrien in Rohmer's 1967 "moral tale," La Collectionneuse; Bauchau and his fellow leading actors Haydee Politoff and Daniel Pommereulle were also credited with the film's dialogue. While this got Bauchau's acting career off to an impressive start, his naturalistic performance left many believing that Bauchau was simply playing himself; after Tuset Street (also released in 1967), Bauchau moved away from acting, as he built furniture and worked for Salvador Dali, constructing large pillow-like animal sculptures.
In 1980, Bauchau re-launched his film career in Robert Kramer's Guns, and in 1982, Wim Wenders cast him in the leading role of his drama Der Stand der Dinge, which finally established his credentials as a working actor. In 1984, Bauchau made his American film debut in Alan Rudolph's typically eccentric romantic comedy Choose Me, and through much of the rest of the decade he worked regularly on both sides of the Atlantic, though he appeared in as many low-budget exploitation efforts as art films. In 1991, Bauchau scored an impressive role in Michael Tolkin's superb drama The Rapture, and four years later the same director gave him a meaty role in the satire The New Age. In 1996, Bauchau was cast in the television series Kindred: The Embraced as a patriarch of the living dead; while the series lasted only a few weeks, it did lead to the recurring role of Sydney in another series, The Pretender, which debuted the same year and ran for four seasons. Bauchau's higher profile in television helped him win notable roles in high-profile films such as Clear and Present Danger, The Cell, and Panic Room, though he's also played notable roles in the independent features Twin Falls Idaho and Secretary.
When not busy with acting, Bauchau lives in Los Angeles, where he is an avid gardener. In his private life, he's married to Mijanou Bardot, who played a small role in La Collectionneuse and also happens to be Brigitte Bardot's sister. They have an adult daughter, Camille.
~ All Movie Guide