Daniel Gelin studied theater at the Paris Conservatoire then began appearing in French films in 1939 while he was still in his teens. At first playing bit parts and light juvenile roles, he eventually (after a long break during World War II) became one of the major leading men of French cinema; Gelin was often cast in sensitive, intelligent, sophisticated, worldly roles. He directed the film Les Dents Longues (1953). Gelin is also a published poet who has received some acclaim for his work. From 1945-54 he was married to actress Daniele Delorme. Daniel Gelin is the father of actress Maria Schneider, best known as Marlon Brando's co-star in Last Tango in Paris (1972).