Chevalier was born on September 12, 1888 in Parish France. Maurice and his older brother began their acting career as circus acrobats and at the age of eleven Maurice began singing for 12 francs a week.
1908 Chevalier was discovered by singer Mistinguett and together they became at popular at the Folier-Bergere. Chevalier joined the French Army in 1914 and was wounded and captured. He spent two years in a German prisoner camp and leaned English from a British prisoner. After the war Chevalier appeared in musical films as well as stage productions.
He came to American in 1929 and started in a musical "Innocents of Paris." 1930 saw Chevalier nominated for an Academy Award for his acting in the Love Parade and Big Pond. He made over a dozen movies in the next seven years. His songs Mimi, Louise, Valentine and Thank Heaven for Little Girls were international hits as was his trademark straw hat.
Chevalier appeared in Love in the Afternoon, Can-Can (with Frank Sinatra), Pepe, A Breath of Scandal, In Search of the Castaways and Gigi. He received an Academy Award for his contribution to entertaining in 1959. Throughout the 1960s he appeared regularly in The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour and The Jack Benny Program.
Chevalier was loved by many and particularly with the Americans and the French. He was known to be an official ambassador of goodwill between France and the United States.
Chevalier continued working up until his death on New Year's Day in 1972 at the age of 83. His last work was signing the title song to the Disney movie The Aristocats in 1970.