Born in Maisons-Lafitte, France, on July 5, 1889, Jean Cocteau was a poet, actor, film director, and playwright. Cocteau's first volume of verse, La Lampe d'Aladian, established him as an important contemporary writer. During recuperation from an opium addiction, Cocteau produced some of his best-known work, including his first motion picture, Blood of a Poet, the play Orpheus, and the novel Les Enfants Terribles. Cocteau later published Difficulty of Being, a loose collection of autobiographical observations. Jean Cocteau died on October 11, 1963, at the age of 74.