writer, director, music department

Peyo was born on Jun 25, 1928 in Belgium. Peyo's big-screen debut came with The Smurfs and the Magic Flute directed by Peyo in 1976. Peyo is known for My Smurfy Valentine directed by Gerard Baldwin, Michael Bell stars as Handy Smurf and Joe Besser as Cupid. The upcoming new movie Peyo plays is Smurfs: The Lost Village which will be released on Apr 07, 2017.

Pierre Culliford (pen name:Peyo) was a Belgian comics writer and artist. He contributed to several series, but his main claim to fame is creating the sword-and-sorcery series "Johan and Peewit" (1947-2001) and its spin-off, the adventure comedy series "The Smurfs" (1963-). His works have received several animated adaptations.In 1928, Peyo was born in Schaerbeek, a municipality within the Brussels-Capital Region. In the early 20th century, Schaerbeek was a booming suburb with a large middle-class population. Peyo's father was an Englishman, while his mother was Belgian. Peyo received his art training at the "Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts", an art school located in Brussels.Early in his career, Peyo worked for the animation studio "Compagnie belge d'actualités" (CBA). The studio folded after World War II, and Peyo decided to seek work as a comics artist. He was hired by the sports-oriented newspaper "La Dernière Heure" (The Latest Hour, 1906-). His salary was meager, and he supplemented his income through providing artwork for advertisements.In 1947, Peyo created the character Johan for the "La Dernière Heure". The character was a heroic page of the Middle Ages, skilled in swordsmanship and aspiring to become a knight. Peyo had the character involved in fantasy-style adventures. In 1949, Peyo was hired by the newspaper "Le Soir" ("The Evening", 1887-), transferring the Johan comic strip to it. He created for this newspaper the comic strip "Poussy" ("Pussy"), featuring a cute black cat as the protagonist. This comic strip developed in a typical gag-a-day format.In 1952, Peyo was hired by the comics magazine "Spirou" (1938-). He was reportedly recommended for hiring by his old friend André Franquin (1924-1997), who already worked for the magazine. Peyo transferred Johan to this magazine, and started writing longer adventures for him.In 1954, Peyo retooled the "Johan" series to "Johan and Peewit", by adding a comic-relief sidekick for Johan. Peewit was a dwarf, depicted as a reformed thief, a professional court jester, and an inept musician. Unlike Johan, Peewit was a reluctant hero. But his cunning, his capacity for outwitting opponents, and his fighting skills made him a useful companion for the hero.In 1958, Peyo wrote an adventure story called "The Flute with Six Holes", where Johan and Peewit seek a magical flute which was stolen. They meet the flute's creators, a race of blue-skinned gnomes, called the Smurfs. Peyo designed them as wearing traditional Phrygian caps (conical cap used in antiquity by various peoples of Anatolia and the Balkans), a developed a peculiar language and habits for them.By 1959, the Smurfs had become popular enough to inspire merchandising of their own. Peyo was asked to create a spin-off comic strip for them. The characters supplanted Johan and Peewit in popularity, though Peyo preferred writing the original series. In 1960, Peyo founded his own studio, allowing him to have trained assistants work on Smurf-inspired stories, and other comics projects (such as "Steven Strong" and "Jacky and Célestin"). Peyo's most notable assistant during the early 1960s was François Walthéry (1946-), who would later create a number of successful series of his own.In 1963, the first comics album devoted to the Smurfs was published. It was the story "The Purple Smurfs", featuring an infectious disease which turns the affected Smurfs into "violent, irrational and uncontrolled" beings with an urge to bite others. The album was successful, and ensured the production of further albums. By the time of Peyo's death in 1992, 16 comics albums had been completed.Peyo remained active in the 1970s, but his work output diminished. He did, however, provide a script for the animated film "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute" (1976). He also was tasked with overseeing production aspects of the film. In the 1980s, Peyo authorized an adaptation of his work by the American studio Hanna-Barbera. He served as a story supervisor for the animated series "The Smurfs" (1981-1989). A notable hit of its era, the series lasted for 9 seasons and introduced the Smurfs to a wider international audience.Until 1989, all Smurf stories were published by Dupuis due to a long-standing contract with Peyo. In 1989, Peyo decided to terminate their business relationship and to establish his own publishing house, Cartoon Creation. It turned out to be a failed business venture. Peyo had been facing recurring health problems throughout the decade, and was unable to properly handle the affairs of the new company. Within a few years, the company folded "due to management problems".In 1992, the publishing rights to the Smurfs were sold to Le Lombard, a publisher known for holding the rights to "Tintin" since 1946. Peyo tried working with his new publisher, but his career was ending. On Christmas Eve 1992, Peyo died of a heart attack in Brussels at the age of 64.A number of Peyo's series have been continued by other writers and artists. New Smurfs-related comics albums were published into the 2020s, often with input by Peyo's son, Thierry Culliford. The popularity of the Smurfs has endured, decades after the demise of their creator.

  • Birthday

    Jun 25, 1928
  • Place of Birth

    Brussels, Belgium