Cocteau was bisexual and, at times, an opium addict. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María Félix, Édith Piaf (whom he cast in one of his one-act plays entitled Le Bel Indifferent in 1940), and Raymond Radiguet.
In the 1930s, Cocteau had an affair with Princess Natalie Paley, the beautiful daughter of a Romanov grand duke. She became pregnant. To Cocteau's distress and Paley's life-long regret, the foetus was aborted. Cocteau's longest-lasting relationships were with the French actors Jean Marais (who played 'tough guy' roles in movies and TV), and Édouard Dermit, whom Cocteau formally adopted. Cocteau cast Marais in four of his movies.
Biographer James S. Williams describes Cocteau's politics as "naturally Right-leaning".p123 In his diary, Cocteau accused France of disrespect towards Hitler and speculated on the Führer's sexuality. His views became known, and he was arraigned on charges of collaboration after the war. He was cleared of any wrongdoing: it turned out that he had used his contacts to try and save friends from the Nazis.p182
In 1940, Le Bel Indifférent, Cocteau's play written for and starring Édith Piaf, was enormously successful. He also worked with Pablo Picasso on several projects and was friends with most of the European art community. Cocteau's movies, most of which he both wrote and directed, were particularly important in introducing the avant-garde into French cinema and influenced the upcoming French New Wave genre.
Cocteau directed eleven movies in avant-gard style, wrote scripts for six movies and dialogue for three, and directed the photography for one more. He published 23 books or pamphlets of original poetry, and 26 volumes of poetic criticism and collections. He illustrated 12 works of poetry, and wrote five novels. He made a number of recordings, mostly spoken poems. He wrote or worked on 21 stage performances, some of which were ballets, and some were plays.
In all his creative work, he was a modernist.
Work in ballet [change]
Cocteau was involved in Diaghilev's Ballets Russes from the first season in Paris, 1909. he wrote scenarios (librettos) for Fokine's Le Dieu Blue in 1912, Massine's Parade in 1917 and Nijinska's Le Train Blue in 1924. He also design company posters, and worked for several other ballet companies. He wrote many articles on dance, and made sketches of many in Diaghilev's circle.
Notable works [change]
Cocteau had a huge output of works in all aspects of written literature, especially poetry. All of it is in French, but some is available in translation. The works listed here are especially notable.
- Parade (1917)
- Le Train Blue (1924)
Cocteau wrote five novels.
- Les Enfants terribles (1929)
- Le Bel Indifférent (1940)
Cocteau directed 11 movies.
- Blood of a Poet (1930)
- Les Parents terribles (1948)
- Orpheus (1949)
- Steegmuller, Francis 1970. Cocteau: a biography. Atlantic-Little, Brown, Boston.
- Brown, Frederick. An impersonation of Angels: a biography of Jean Cocteau, The Viking Press, New York.
- Tsakiridou, Cornelia A. ed. 1997. Reviewing Orpheus: essays on the cinema and art of Jean Cocteau. Lewisburg PA: Bucknell University Press.
- French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ kɔkto]
- Rick Norton 2012. Cocteau's White Paper on homophobia. 
- Cocteau, Jean 1958. Opium: the diary of a cure. Transl. Margaret Crosland and Sinclair Road. Grove Press, New York.
- Jean-Noël Liaut 1996. Natalie Paley: La princesse dechirée. Paris: Filipacchi. ISBN 2-85018-295-8
- Jean Marais (1913-1998) (in French) 
- Williams, James S. (2008). Jean Cocteau. Reaktion Books.
- Crane, Debra & Mackrell, Judith 2002. The Oxford dictionary of dance. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Other websites [change]