A French screenwriter and poet associated with the Rue de Chateau group, he is best known for his 1945 poetic realist film, Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise). His famous poetry collections include Spectacle, Paroles (Words), and La Pluie et le beau temps (Rain and Good Weather).
He grew up in Paris and worked in a department store before joining the military.
He was raised in Paris, France. He wed Simone Dienne in 1925.
He adapted some of Hans Christian Andersen's stories into animated films.