A boyish-looking lead of two early Claude Chabrol classics, "Le Beau Serge" (1958) and "Les Cousins" (1959), Gerard Blain made a credible transition to writing and directing in the early 1970s. As a youth, he first appeared in films as an extra in Marcel Carne's classic "Les enfants du paradis/The Children of the Paradise" (1943) as well as in stage productions. After serving in a parachute regiment in the French army, Blain started his acting career in earnest in the mid-50s. The two Chabrol films established him: "Le Beau Serge/Handsome Serge" found him cast as Jean-Claude Brialy's drastically-changed school chum while in "Les Cousins/Cousins" he was Brialy's country relation. The actor went on to appear in several Italian-French co-productions, including "Il Gobbo," "I Delfini" and "Via Margutta" (all 1960), before extending his international presence as John Wayne's sidekick in the English-language "Hatari!" (1962). Blain settled back into French filmmaking in 1964 with "La Bonne Soupe/Careless Love."