Alain Chabat

Alain Chabat's comic timing and natural charisma endeared him to French audiences and across the pond. He was born on Nov. 24, 1958 in Oran, French Algeria to Sephardic Jewish parents. Chabat's family moved to Massy, located in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. He initially wanted to be a cartoonist and singer, but eventually found his passion in acting. Chabat made his acting debut on the French sci-fi spoof "Objectif: Nul" (1987, Canal +) opposite Bruno Carette, Dominique Farrugia, and Chantal Lauby, with whom Chabat formed the comedy group Les Nuls ("The Dummies") in the late 1980s. Following Carette's death in 1989, the remaining trio starred on the sketch comedy series "Les Nuls, l'émission" (Canal +, 1990-92) and "Didier" (1997). The latter marked Chabat's first writing and directorial effort, which earned him a César Award for Best Debut. In 2001, Chabat voiced "Shrek," replacing Mike Myers in the French-dubbed version of the hit animated film and its sequels. One of Chabat's frequent collaborators was Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Chabat and Gainsbourg co-starred in several films, including " And They Lived Happily Ever After" (2004) and "The Science of Sleep" (2006). Chabat appeared in his first mainstream American film in "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (2009), portraying Napoleon Bonaparte. In 2012, Chabat acted in the Eddie Murphy comedy "A Thousand Words" and voiced the Blue-footed booby Silas in the animated film "Ice Age: Continental Drift."