Best French Actor in a Leading Role 1950-1959

The seven best performances by year (1950-1959), French and foreign players playing in films produced mainly in France.
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1.
“ 1950 Manèges d'Yves Allégret
Best French Actor 1950 ” - guillaume836076
 
2.
“ 1950 Chéri de Pierre Billon ” - guillaume836076
 
3.
Fernandel
The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contandin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc Allégret was the director of his first successful film La meilleure bobonne...
“ 1950 Meurtres ? de Richard Pottier ” - guillaume836076
 
4.
“ 1950 Dieu a besoin des hommes de Jean Delannoy ” - guillaume836076
 
5.
Jean Marais
Jean Marais was a popular French cinema actor and director who played over 100 roles in film and on television, and was also known for his many talents as a writer, painter and sculptor. He was born Jean Alfred Villain-Marais on December 11, 1913, in Cherbourg, France. His father practiced veterinarian medicine...
“ 1950 Orphée de Jean Cocteau ” - guillaume836076
 
6.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1950 La Beauté du Diable de René Clair ” - guillaume836076
 
7.
Michel Simon
Actor, L'Atalante
The son of a sausage-maker, Michel Simon was conscripted into the Swiss Army at the start of World War I, but was thrown out through a combination of tuberculosis and general insubordination. He was variously a boxer, photographer, general handyman and right-wing anarchist, finally becoming a stage actor in Geneva in 1920...
“ 1950 La Beauté du Diable de René Clair ” - guillaume836076
 
8.
“ 1951 Sans laisser d'adresse de Jean-Paul Le Chanois ” - guillaume836076
 
9.
“ 1951 Les Mains sales de Fernand Rivers et Simone Berriau ” - guillaume836076
 
10.
Fernandel
The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contandin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc Allégret was the director of his first successful film La meilleure bobonne...
“ 1951 L'auberge rouge de Claude Autant-Lara ” - guillaume836076
 
11.
“ 1951 Monsieur Fabre de Henri Diamant-Berger ” - guillaume836076
 
12.
Jean Gabin
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. But he was also able to play all other kind of people: aristocrats...
“ 1951 La Nuit est mon royaume de Georges Lacombe ” - guillaume836076
 
13.
Louis Jouvet
Louis Jouvet was a living glory of the French theatre where he debuted in 1910. In his life he has worked as pharmacist, manager of a theatre, actor and theatre teacher. He debuted at the movies in 1932 and his best films were of the Golden Age of French cinema called the "poetical realism", e.g. "Hotel du Nord (1938)" or "La fin du jour"...
“ 1951 Une histoire d'amour de Guy Lefranc ” - guillaume836076
 
14.
Michel Simon
Actor, L'Atalante
The son of a sausage-maker, Michel Simon was conscripted into the Swiss Army at the start of World War I, but was thrown out through a combination of tuberculosis and general insubordination. He was variously a boxer, photographer, general handyman and right-wing anarchist, finally becoming a stage actor in Geneva in 1920...
“ 1951 La Poison de Sacha Guitry
Best French Actor 1951 ” - guillaume836076
 
15.
Gino Cervi
Actor, Becket
Cervi was born in Bologna. His father was the theatre critic Antonio Cervi. In 1928, he married Nini Gordini (one of his partners) and they had a son, Tonino Cervi. Gino Cervi later became the grandfather of actress Valentina Cervi and producer Antonio Levesi Cervi. Cervi was best known for his role of Giuseppe Bottazzi ("Peppone")...
“ 1952 Le Petit monde de Don Camillo de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
16.
Fernandel
The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contandin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc Allégret was the director of his first successful film La meilleure bobonne...
“ 1952 Le Fruit défendu de Henri Verneuil ” - guillaume836076
 
17.
“ 1952 Il est minuit, Docteur Schweitzer d'André Haguet ” - guillaume836076
 
18.
Jean Gabin
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. But he was also able to play all other kind of people: aristocrats...
“ 1952 La Vérité sur Bébé Donge de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
19.
“ 1952 Nous sommes tous des assassins d'André Cayatte
Best French Actor 1952 ” - guillaume836076
 
20.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1952 Fanfan la Tulipe de Christian-Jaque ” - guillaume836076
 
21.
Serge Reggiani
Actor, Le Doulos
The notably gifted, multi-talented actor, chanteur, poet and painter Serge Reggiani was born in Reggio Emilia, a town in northern Italy, in 1922. His father, a highly visible anti-fascist, fled his Mussolini-dictated homeland due to his fervent political activities and emigrated to France in order to protect his family...
“ 1952 Casque d'or de Jacques Becker ” - guillaume836076
 
22.
Charles Boyer
Actor, Gaslight
Charles Boyer studied philosophy before he went to the theater where he gave his debut in 1920. Although he had at first no intentions to pursue a career at the movies (his first movie was L'homme du large by Marcel L'Herbier) he used his chance in Hollywood after several filming stations all over Europe...
“ 1953 Madame de... de Max Ophüls ” - guillaume836076
 
23.
Daniel Gélin
Gallic lead and character actor Daniel Gelin did not have an easy life but was warmly embraced as a talented star who appeared to fine advantage for such legendary directors as Max Ophüls, Louis Malle, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, and Claude Lelouch. He left home at age 16 to take dramatic arts classes under the guidance of Louis Jouvet...
“ 1953 L'esclave d'Yves Ciampi ” - guillaume836076
 
24.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1953 Les Orgueilleux d'Yves Allégret ” - guillaume836076
 
25.
“ 1953 Manon des Sources de Marcel Pagnol ” - guillaume836076
 
26.
Michel Simon
Actor, L'Atalante
The son of a sausage-maker, Michel Simon was conscripted into the Swiss Army at the start of World War I, but was thrown out through a combination of tuberculosis and general insubordination. He was variously a boxer, photographer, general handyman and right-wing anarchist, finally becoming a stage actor in Geneva in 1920...
“ 1953 La Vie d'un honnête homme de Sacha Guitry ” - guillaume836076
 
27.
Raf Vallone
Raf Vallone was an internationally acclaimed Italian movie star known for his rugged good looks. The athletic Vallone, a former soccer player who often was compared to Burt Lancaster, was born Raffaele Vallone in 1916 in Tropea in Calabria, Italy, the son of a prominent lawyer and his aristocratic wife...
“ 1953 Thérèse Raquin de Marcel Carné ” - guillaume836076
 
28.
“ 1953 Le Salaire de la peur de Henri-Georges Clouzot
Best French Actor 1953 ” - guillaume836076
 
29.
Fernandel
The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contandin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc Allégret was the director of his first successful film La meilleure bobonne...
“ 1954 Le Mouton à cinq pattes de Henri Verneuil ” - guillaume836076
 
30.
“ 1954 Le Défroqué de Léo Joannon ” - guillaume836076
 
31.
Jean Gabin
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. But he was also able to play all other kind of people: aristocrats...
“ 1954 Touchez pas au grisbi de Jacques Becker ” - guillaume836076
 
32.
Daniel Gélin
Gallic lead and character actor Daniel Gelin did not have an easy life but was warmly embraced as a talented star who appeared to fine advantage for such legendary directors as Max Ophüls, Louis Malle, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, and Claude Lelouch. He left home at age 16 to take dramatic arts classes under the guidance of Louis Jouvet...
“ 1954 La Neige était sale de Luis Saslavsky ” - guillaume836076
 
33.
“ 1954 Papa, Maman, la bonne et moi de Jean-Paul Le Chanois ” - guillaume836076
 
34.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1954 Monsieur Ripois de René Clément
Best French Actor 1954 ” - guillaume836076
 
35.
Michel Simon
Actor, L'Atalante
The son of a sausage-maker, Michel Simon was conscripted into the Swiss Army at the start of World War I, but was thrown out through a combination of tuberculosis and general insubordination. He was variously a boxer, photographer, general handyman and right-wing anarchist, finally becoming a stage actor in Geneva in 1920...
“ 1954 L'étrange désir de Monsieur Bard de Géza von Radvanyi ” - guillaume836076
 
36.
Jean Gabin
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. But he was also able to play all other kind of people: aristocrats...
“ 1955 French Cancan de Jean Renoir ” - guillaume836076
 
37.
Daniel Gélin
Gallic lead and character actor Daniel Gelin did not have an easy life but was warmly embraced as a talented star who appeared to fine advantage for such legendary directors as Max Ophüls, Louis Malle, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, and Claude Lelouch. He left home at age 16 to take dramatic arts classes under the guidance of Louis Jouvet...
“ 1955 Les Amants du Tage de Henri Verneuil ” - guillaume836076
 
38.
Jean Marais
Jean Marais was a popular French cinema actor and director who played over 100 roles in film and on television, and was also known for his many talents as a writer, painter and sculptor. He was born Jean Alfred Villain-Marais on December 11, 1913, in Cherbourg, France. His father practiced veterinarian medicine...
“ 1955 Le Comte de Monte-Cristo de Robert Vernay ” - guillaume836076
 
39.
“ 1955 Les Mauvaises rencontres d'Alexandre Astruc ” - guillaume836076
 
40.
“ 1955 Napoléon de Sacha Guitry ” - guillaume836076
 
41.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1955 Les Grandes manœuvres de René Clair ” - guillaume836076
 
42.
“ 1955 Du rififi chez les hommes de Jules Dassin
Best French Actor 1955 ” - guillaume836076
 
43.
Bourvil
At the age of three, André Zacharie Raimbourg and his family moved to a town in the region of Normandy called Bourville. He finished school at the age of 15 and began to work as a baker. He was already playing harmonica, mandoline and cornet when he engaged himself in a village band. In the beginning of 1940 while in the army making music-hall show for the troops...
“ 1956 La Traversée de Paris de Claude Autant-Lara
Best French Actor 1956 ” - guillaume836076
 
44.
“ 1956 Bob le flambeur de Jean-Pierre Melville ” - guillaume836076
 
45.
Jean Gabin
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. But he was also able to play all other kind of people: aristocrats...
“ 1956 Voici le temps des assassins de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
46.
Georges Marchal
Georges Marchal was one of the most important lead actors in French cinema in the '50s, together with Jean Marais. He was the lead in various costume dramas and swashbuckling films before taking part in some of the films of Luis Buñuel, a close friend of his. He retired in 1989.
“ 1956 Cela s'appelle l'aurore de Luis Bunuel ” - guillaume836076
 
47.
François Périer
Francois Perier was one of France's most prolific character leads. Born in Paris, his father managed a wine shop. At age 14, he wrote to legendary actor Louis Jouvet who subsequently helped him enter the Cours Simon and Le Conservatoire dramatic institutions. A stage star by 1938, he then apprenticed in bit film parts...
“ 1956 Gervaise de René Clément ” - guillaume836076
 
48.
Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn was born Antonio Rudolfo Oaxaca Quinn on April 21, 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico, to Manuela (Oaxaca) and Francisco Quinn, who became an assistant cameraman at a Los Angeles (CA) film studio. His paternal grandfather was Irish, and the rest of his family was Mexican. After starting life in extremely modest circumstances in Mexico...
“ 1956 Notre Dame de Paris de Jean Delannoy ” - guillaume836076
 
49.
Orson Welles
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein...
“ 1956 Dossier secret (Monsieur Arkadin) d'Orson Welles ” - guillaume836076
 
50.
“ 1957 Porte des Lilas de René Clair
Best French Actor 1957 ” - guillaume836076
 
51.
Curd Jürgens
Curd Jürgens (commonly billed as "Curt Jurgens" in anglophone countries) was one of the most successful European film actors of the 20th Century. He was born Curd Gustav Andreas Gottlieb Franz Jürgens on December 13, 1915, in Solln, Bavaria, in Hohenzollern Imperial Germany, a subject of Kaiser Wilhelm II...
“ 1957 Amère victoire de Nicholas Ray ” - guillaume836076
 
52.
“ 1957 Les Aventures d'Arsène Lupin de Jacques Becker ” - guillaume836076
 
53.
“ 1957 Œil pour œil d'André Cayatte ” - guillaume836076
 
54.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1957 Pot-Bouille de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
55.
“ 1957 Celui qui doit mourir de Jules Dassin ” - guillaume836076
 
56.
“ 1957 Celui qui doit mourir de Jules Dassin ” - guillaume836076
 
57.
Bourvil
At the age of three, André Zacharie Raimbourg and his family moved to a town in the region of Normandy called Bourville. He finished school at the age of 15 and began to work as a baker. He was already playing harmonica, mandoline and cornet when he engaged himself in a village band. In the beginning of 1940 while in the army making music-hall show for the troops...
“ 1958 Le Miroir à deux faces d'André Cayatte ” - guillaume836076
 
58.
“ 1958 Maigret tend un piège de Jean Delannoy
Best French Actor 1958 ” - guillaume836076
 
59.
Louis de Funès
Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza was born on July 31, 1914, in Courbevoie, France. His father, named Carlos Luis de Funes de Galarza, was a former lawyer of Seville, Spain, who became a diamond cutter. His mother, named Leonor Soto Reguera, was of Spanish and Portugese extraction. Young Louis de Funès was fond of drawing and piano playing...
“ 1958 Ni vu, ni connu d'Yves Robert ” - guillaume836076
 
60.
Jean Gabin
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. But he was also able to play all other kind of people: aristocrats...
“ 1958 Les Grandes familles de Denys de La Patellière ” - guillaume836076
 
61.
“ 1958 Une vie d'Alexandre Astruc ” - guillaume836076
 
62.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1958 Montparnasse 19 de Jacques Becker ” - guillaume836076
 
63.
“ 1958 Ascenseur pour l'échafaud de Louis Malle ” - guillaume836076
 
64.
Fernandel
The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contandin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc Allégret was the director of his first successful film La meilleure bobonne...
“ 1959 La vache et le prisonnier de Henri Verneuil
Best French Actor 1959 ” - guillaume836076
 
65.
“ 1959 J'irai cracher sur vos tombes de Michel Gast ” - guillaume836076
 
66.
Paul Meurisse
Actor, Diabolique
Paul Meurisse was the son of a bank manager and it first looked as if he would follow in his father's footsteps when he became a solicitor's clerk in Aix-en-Provence. But his passion was elsewhere and he soon did the splits appearing as a chorus boy in music-hall revues. Leaving Aix for Paris, with a letter of recommendation signed by Huguette Duflos...
“ 1959 Le déjeuner sur l'herbe de Jean Renoir ” - guillaume836076
 
67.
Jean-Pierre Mocky
As an actor he became popular as Albert de Morcerf in a version of The Count of Monte Cristo, fame and adulation followed with his Francois in Head Against the Wall. As a director he became famous with anarcho-pictures, brilliant cynic comedies. His preferred actors in all decades were Michel Serrault and Jean Poiret - till the late 80s they were his leading stars...
“ 1959 La Tête contre les murs de Georges Franju ” - guillaume836076
 
68.
Gérard Philipe
In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Mark Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's play "One plain girl"...
“ 1959 Les Liaisons dangereuses 1960 de Roger Vadim ” - guillaume836076
 
69.
Lino Ventura
One of France's most beloved character stars from the 1950s through and including the 1980s was the Italian-born Lino Ventura. Born Angiolino Joseph Pascal Ventura to Giovanni Ventura and Luisa Borrini, on July 14, 1919, in Parma (northern) Italy, young Lino moved with his family at a young age to Paris...
“ 1959 Un témoin dans la ville d'Edouard Molinaro ” - guillaume836076
 
70.
“ 1959 La Bête à l'affût de Pierre Chenal ” - guillaume836076