Pierre Fresnay (April 4, 1897 - January 9, 1975) was a French stage and film actor.
Born Pierre Jules Louis Laudenbach in Paris, France, he was encouraged by his uncle, the actor Claude Garry, to pursue a career in theater and film.
Fresnay performed on stage and became one of the most important film actors of his era. He appeared in more than sixty films, eight of which were with Yvonne Printemps who became his third wife in 1934. One of his most notable films was the 1937 epic Grand Illusion directed by Jean Renoir. He also portrayed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer in Il est minuit, Docteur Schweitzer (1952).
A soldier in the French Army during World War I, he returned to his career a hero. However, under the German occupation of World War II, Fresnay worked for a Franco-German film company. As a result, his popularity with the public declined and after the war, he was detained in prison while allegations of collaboration were investigated. After being held for several weeks, he was released as a result of a lack of evidence.
Pierre Fresnay continued to perform regularly in film and on stage through to the 1960s. In the 70s, he appeared in a few films for television.
He remained married to Yvonne Printemps for the rest of his life. He died of respiratory problems at the age of seventy-seven at Neuilly-sur-Seine and is interred there with his wife in the Neuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery.