Fernandel arrives from his native South of France to Paris in 1928 and he rapidly becomes a successful music-hall comic performer. In 1930, he appears in his first film, Sacha Guitry and Marc Allégret's Le Blanc et le Noir and his career is instantly launched. He then stars in Jean Renoir's On Purge Bébé, in 1931, Le Schpountz, in 1938 and La Fille du Puisatier, in 1940 – all films in which he demonstrates his comic abilities, often incarnating the stereotyped role of innocent peasants. In the meantime, he has also performed various successful musical hits with timeless tunes such as Félicie Aussi. During the 1950s, he earns an immense recognition with the Don Camillo series in which he incarnates a hilarious irascible Italian priest. With his horsey grin as he described himself and his expressive use of the hands, face and voice, Fernandel became ultra-popular in France and the world- so much that even the Général De Gaulle claimed the actor was the only French to be as famous as he was.