Best French Actress in a Leading Role 1930-1939

The seven best performances of actresses French or foreign, by year (1930-1939), who played in films mainly French.
Some films are foreign productions shot in French with French actress and French, but with major foreign actress original
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1.
Louise Brooks
Actress, Pandora's Box
Louise Brooks was one of the most fascinating personalities of Hollywood, always being compared with her most important characterization as protagonist: Lulu in Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Pandora's Box. Along with her beauty and talent she had an independent streak and refused to accept the restrictive role that women had in American society...
“ 1930 Prix de Beauté d'Augusto Genina ” - guillaume836076
 
2.
Lilian Harvey
Lilian Harvey was born on January 19th, 1906 in London. Her mother was English and her father was German. When she was eight her family moved to Berlin shortly before the outbreak of WW1. She spent much of the war at school in Switzerland where she broadened her knowledge of languages and classical dance...
“ 1930 Les Chemins du Paradis de Wilhelm Thiele ” - guillaume836076
 
3.
Pola Illéry
Pola Illéry was an exotic silent film star in France and Romania during the 1920s and made a modest transition to sound films in the 1930s. She was known for portraying sexually liberated women and was considered the most glamorous film star in Romania. After she left films feeling she achieved her time in the spotlight she fled to America in 1939 with the rise of Nazism...
“ 1930 Sous les toits de Paris de René Clair ” - guillaume836076
 
4.
“ 1930 Dans la nuit de Charles Vanel ” - guillaume836076
 
5.
“ 1930 Accusée, levez-vous! de Maurice Tourneur ” - guillaume836076
 
6.
“ 1930 Au bonheur des dames de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
7.
“ 1930 La Petite Lise de Jean Grémillon
Best French Actress 1930 ” - guillaume836076
 
8.
Annabella
Actress, Le million
At age 16, Annabella was chosen by Abel Gance to appear in Napoleon. In the 30s, she became a star of French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, before being called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married Tyrone Power. She remained in the USA until 1947. Then she attempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954.
“ 1931 Le Million de René Clair ” - guillaume836076
 
9.
“ 1931 Marius d'Alexander Korda ” - guillaume836076
 
10.
“ 1931 Le Mystère de la chambre jaune et Le Parfum de la dame en noir de Marcel L'Herbier ” - guillaume836076
 
11.
“ 1931 L'Opéra de Quat'sous de Georg Wilhelm Pabst ” - guillaume836076
 
12.
Lilian Harvey
Lilian Harvey was born on January 19th, 1906 in London. Her mother was English and her father was German. When she was eight her family moved to Berlin shortly before the outbreak of WW1. She spent much of the war at school in Switzerland where she broadened her knowledge of languages and classical dance...
“ 1931 Le Congrès s'amuse d'Erik Charell ” - guillaume836076
 
13.
“ 1931 Faubourg Montmartre de Raymond Bernard
Best French Actress 1931 ” - guillaume836076
 
14.
“ 1931 Jean de la lune de Jean Choux ” - guillaume836076
 
15.
Annabella
Actress, Le million
At age 16, Annabella was chosen by Abel Gance to appear in Napoleon. In the 30s, she became a star of French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, before being called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married Tyrone Power. She remained in the USA until 1947. Then she attempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954.
“ 1932 Marie, légende hongroise de Pal Féjös
Best French Actress 1932 ” - guillaume836076
 
16.
“ 1932 Au nom de la loi de Maurice Tourneur ” - guillaume836076
 
17.
“ 1932 Fanny de Marc Allégret ” - guillaume836076
 
18.
“ 1932 Fantômas de Pal Féjös ” - guillaume836076
 
19.
“ 1932 Tumultes de Robert Siodmak ” - guillaume836076
 
20.
Brigitte Helm
Actress, Metropolis
After her role in Metropolis she made a string of movies in which she almost always had the starring role, easily making the transition to sound films. Her last film was Ein idealer Gatte (An Ideal Spouse) in 1935.
“ 1932 L'Atlantide de Georg Wilhelm Pabst ” - guillaume836076
 
21.
Käthe von Nagy
Actress, Ave Maria
Käthe von Nagy wanted to get married at the age of 16, therefore, her parents put her in the Santa Chrisitana Convent, near Vienna. After that, she worked in her father's office and besides started to secretly write short stories for newspapers. In Budapest, she studied acting, dancing and singing, but her parents were not very happy...
“ 1932 A moi le jour, à toi la nuit de Ludwig Berger ” - guillaume836076
 
22.
Annabella
Actress, Le million
At age 16, Annabella was chosen by Abel Gance to appear in Napoleon. In the 30s, she became a star of French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, before being called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married Tyrone Power. She remained in the USA until 1947. Then she attempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954.
“ 1933 Quatorze juillet de René Clair ” - guillaume836076
 
23.
“ 1933 La Dame de chez Maxim's d'Alexander Korda ” - guillaume836076
 
24.
“ 1933 Le Maître de forges de Fernand Rivers et Abel Gance ” - guillaume836076
 
25.
“ 1933 Mater Dolorosa d'Abel Gance ” - guillaume836076
 
26.
“ 1933 Dans les rues de Victor Trivas ” - guillaume836076
 
27.
“ 1933 La Maternelle de Jean-Benoit Lévy
Best French Actress 1933 ” - guillaume836076
 
28.
“ 1933 Madame Bovary de Jean Renoir ” - guillaume836076
 
29.
Annabella
Actress, Le million
At age 16, Annabella was chosen by Abel Gance to appear in Napoleon. In the 30s, she became a star of French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, before being called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married Tyrone Power. She remained in the USA until 1947. Then she attempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954.
“ 1934 Gardez le sourire de Pal Féjös ” - guillaume836076
 
30.
“ 1934 Le Grand jeu de Jacques Feyder
Best French Actress 1934 ” - guillaume836076
 
31.
“ 1934 Angèle de Marcel Pagnol ” - guillaume836076
 
32.
“ 1934 Liliom de Fritz Lang ” - guillaume836076
 
33.
“ 1934 Rapt de Dimitri Kirsanoff ” - guillaume836076
 
34.
“ 1934 Maria Chapdelaine de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
35.
Magda Schneider
Actress, Sissi
Magda Schneider was born on 17 May 1909 in Augsburg, Germany and a singer, stage and film actress. After her graduation at a monastery school, she studied stenography and office management at a business school, but also attended ballet lessons and art courses at the Augsburg School of Music. Six months later...
“ 1934 Libelei (Une histoire d'amour) de Max Ophüls ” - guillaume836076
 
36.
Annabella
Actress, Le million
At age 16, Annabella was chosen by Abel Gance to appear in Napoleon. In the 30s, she became a star of French movies. She made movies in numerous other countries, before being called to Hollywood in 1938, where she met and married Tyrone Power. She remained in the USA until 1947. Then she attempted a comeback in France. She retired from show business in 1954.
“ 1935 La Bandéra de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
37.
“ 1935 Divine de Max Ophüls ” - guillaume836076
 
38.
“ 1935 Remous d'Edmond T. Gréville ” - guillaume836076
 
39.
“ 1935 Amants et voleurs de Raymond Bernard ” - guillaume836076
 
40.
“ 1935 Le Bonheur de Marcel L'Herbier ” - guillaume836076
 
41.
“ 1935 La Kermesse héroïque de Jacques Feyder
Best French Actress 1935

1935 Pension Mimosas de Jacques Feyder ” - guillaume836076
 
42.
“ 1936 La Garçonne de Jean de Limur ” - guillaume836076
 
43.
“ 1936 La Tendre ennemie de Max Ophüls ” - guillaume836076
 
44.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
“ 1936 Mayerling d'Anatole Litvak
Best French Actress 1936 ” - guillaume836076
 
45.
“ 1936 César de Marcel Pagnol ” - guillaume836076
 
46.
“ 1936 Le Crime de Monsieur Lange de Jean Renoir ” - guillaume836076
 
47.
“ 1936 Samson de Maurice Tourneur ” - guillaume836076
 
48.
“ 1936 Jenny de Marcel Carné ” - guillaume836076
 
49.
Mireille Balin
Mireille Balin was one the most glamorous and best loved actresses of pre-war French cinema. She appeared in two of the best remembered French films of the 1930s: Pépé le Moko and Lady Killer, both opposite Jean Gabin. After the German occupation of France and her separation from her long-time fiancé...
“ 1937 Gueule d'amour de Jean Grémillon ” - guillaume836076
 
50.
“ 1937 Un carnet de bal de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
51.
“ 1937 Regain de Marcel Pagnol
Best French Actress 1937 ” - guillaume836076
 
52.
Isa Miranda
Actress, Summertime
Isa Miranda was one of the most significant actresses in Europe from the 1930s-'50s. Her remarkable talent expressed itself both in cinema and theater. She reached international popularity in the 1930s, especially in France, Germany and Austria, and became the only international movie star produced by the fascist cinema...
“ 1937 L'Homme de nulle part de Pierre Chenal ” - guillaume836076
 
53.
“ 1937 Le Coupable de Raymond Bernard ” - guillaume836076
 
54.
“ 1937 Mademoiselle Docteur de Georg Wilhelm Pabst ” - guillaume836076
 
55.
Elvire Popesco
Actress, Purple Noon
From 1923 when she played the lead in Louis Verneuil's "Ma cousine de Varsovie" to 1978 when she played again (and for the last time) "La Mamma", written specially for her by André Roussin, Elvire Popesco (born near Bucharest in 1894) was the undisputed queen of "Théâtre de Boulevard" (light comedies)...
“ 1937 L'Habit vert de Roger Richebé ” - guillaume836076
 
56.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
“ 1938 Retour à l'aube de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
57.
“ 1938 Prison sans barreaux de Léonide Moguy ” - guillaume836076
 
58.
Michèle Morgan
A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret...
“ 1938 Le Quai des brumes de Marcel Carné ” - guillaume836076
 
59.
“ 1938 Quadrille de Sacha Guitry ” - guillaume836076
 
60.
Viviane Romance
Actress, Panic
Strikingly beautiful French leading lady (Miss Paris of 1930) who first appeared on stage at the age of 13 at the Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, then did some modelling work and a year later joined the chorus line of the Moulin Rouge. She also performed the 'can-can' at the legendary Parisian nightclub Bal Tabarin...
“ 1938 La Maison du Maltais de Pierre Chenal ” - guillaume836076
 
61.
“ 1938 Les Gens du voyage de Jacques Feyder ” - guillaume836076
 
62.
Simone Simon
Actress, Cat People
Diminutive, fiery-tempered Simone Simon was born in France, but spent much of her early childhood in Madagascar, where her father managed a graphite mine. Her schooling was somewhat unsettled, her family moving from city to city (Berlin, Budapest, Turin) before finally establishing themselves in Paris in 1930...
“ 1938 La Bête humaine de Jean Renoir
Best French Actress 1938 ” - guillaume836076
 
63.
Arletty
Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having been the lover of a German official during the ocupation of France...
“ 1939 Circonstances atténuantes de Jean Boyer ” - guillaume836076
 
64.
“ 1939 Le Dernier tournant de Pierre Chenal
Best French Actress 1939 ” - guillaume836076
 
65.
Michèle Morgan
A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret...
“ 1939 Le Récif de corail de Maurice Gleize ” - guillaume836076
 
66.
“ 1939 Entente cordiale de Marcel L'Herbier ” - guillaume836076
 
67.
“ 1939 La Fin du jour de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
68.
Viviane Romance
Actress, Panic
Strikingly beautiful French leading lady (Miss Paris of 1930) who first appeared on stage at the age of 13 at the Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, then did some modelling work and a year later joined the chorus line of the Moulin Rouge. She also performed the 'can-can' at the legendary Parisian nightclub Bal Tabarin...
“ 1939 La Tradition de minuit de Roger Richebé ” - guillaume836076
 
69.
“ 1939 Les Otages de Raymond Bernard ” - guillaume836076