Dimitri was born in Ascona. His father was a sculptor and painter; his mother made creatures out of textile remnants. At the age of seven, he decided to become a clown. In Bern he became an apprentice potter, but at the same time he took theatre classes and studied music, ballet and acrobatics. He took mime lessons with Etienne Decroux and later became pupil of Marcel Marceau and member of his troupe. He appeared as "Auguste" with Circus Medrano in Paris with the famous white clown "Maïsse".
In 1959 he appeared for the first time in a program of his own, in Ascona. He soon went on tour throughout the world, including three times with the "Circus Knie".
In 1971, together with his wife Gunda, he founded a theatre in Verscio, and in 1975, they opened a school for performing arts. In 1978 the Dimitri Theatre Company came into being and for which Dimitri has created and directed several plays over the years. In 2000 the Museo Comico was built, entrusting the setting up to Harald Szeemann.