François Roland Truffaut (French pronunciation: ; 6 February 1932 – 21 October 1984) was an influential filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave; and remains an icon of the French film industry. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he was also a screenwriter, producer or occasional actor in over twenty-five films.
Truffaut was born on 6 February 1932, out of wedlock. He never met his biological father, who was a Jewish dentist. His mother's future husband Roland Truffaut accepted him as an adopted son and gave him his surname. He was passed around to live with various nannies and his grandmother for a number of years. It was his grandmother who instilled in him her love of books and music. He lived with his grandmother until her death when Truffaut was ten years old. It was only after his grandmother's death that he lived with his parents for the first time.
Truffaut would often stay with friends and try to be out of the house as much as possible. It was the cinema that offered him the greatest escape from an unsatisfying home life. He was eight years old when he saw his first movie, Abel Gance's Paradis perdu from 1939. It was there that his obsession began. He frequently played truant from school and would sneak into theaters because he didn't have enough money for admission. After being expelled from several schools, at the age of fourteen he decided to become self taught. Some of his academic "goals" were to watch three movies a day and read three books a week.