A French writer/director who specializes in mainstream comedies, Claude Zidi is best known for his award-winning 1984 film, "My New Partner. " Zidi began his career as an assist cameraman on the 1959 Georges Franju film "Head Against the Wall," then moved up to main camera operator on several 1960s films including Claude Chabrol's "Bad Girls" and "Le Boucher." He also worked briefly as a cinematographer before writing and directing the war-themed comedy "Rookies Run Amok" in 1971. Zidi directed several of his own scripts in the '70s, including the 1976 farce "The Wing and the Thigh" starring comedic legend Louis de Funès as a food critic in one of his last roles. Zidi's comedy "My New Partner," about a crooked policeman, starred Philippe Noiret and earned Zidi the Best Director César Award and also a nomination for his script. Zidi's 1991 script "La totale!" was eventually made into the Hollywood film "True Lies," and in 1999 he co-wrote and directed "Astérix et Obélix contre César," a lavish adaptation of the famous comic book adventures starring Gérard Depardieu and Roberto Benigni. Two sequels to "My New Partner" were made in 1990 and 2003, the latter being Zidi's last directorial effort to date.