Jacques Perrin was born Jacques André Simonet in Paris, in 1941. His father was a theatre director and his mother an actress. Perrin began acting on stage as a child. His sister is the film press attache Eva Simonet.
Perrin debuted in his first film at the age of 5 for Société Nouvelle Pathé Cinéma in 1946. He has appeared in more than 75 feature films.
Z (1969), Perrin’s first film as a producer, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He was awarded France’s César for producing the documentaries Microcosmos (1996) and Oceans (2010), as well as receiving a César and Academy Award nomination for the documentary Winged Migration (2001).
The British Academy nominated his production of The Chorus (2004) in the category Film not in the English Language.
He has produced and/or directed more than 30 feature films, a third of which have been documentaries.