The artist Renoir was his father, an abiding influence on his own very influential work, and about whom he wrote the definitive biography. Welles, a friend, described him as the greatest of all directors. Odets was another close friend. Kosma collaborated as composer, and Jacques Prévert as writer (Renoir described the script for an unmade film as perfect, but leaving him with nothing to do). Renoir said of von Stroheim as an actor, that he had to learn his German lines just like a schoolboy. Meeting Ray (who had just completed a masterpiece), Renoir asked him innocently if he also made films.