The Best "Foreign Language" Actors/Actresses

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1.
Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen is a synonym to the great success the Danish film industry has had since the mid-1990s. He was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker. Starting out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher, he slowly grew to become one of Denmark's biggest movie actors...
 
2.
Moritz Bleibtreu
Moritz Bleibtreu is a German actor born on August 13, 1971 in Munich growing up in Hamburg. He first appears in children's television series Neues aus Uhlenbusch at the age of six. His breakthrough was the role called "Abdul" in the movie Knockin' on Heaven's Door. He also became internationally known for his work on Run Lola Run...
 
4.
Gérard Depardieu
Actor, Life of Pi
Gérard Depardieu was born in Châteauroux, Indre, France, to Anne Jeanne Josèphe (Marillier) and René Maxime Lionel Depardieu, who was a metal worker and fireman. Young delinquent and wanderer in the past, Depardieu started his acting career at the small traveling theatre "Cafe de la Gare", along with Patrick Dewaere and Miou-Miou...
 
5.
Ken Watanabe
Actor, Inception
Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. In 1978, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his career as an actor. He drew the attention of the critics when Yukio Ninagawa, a famous Japanese director, chose him for the lead role in one of his plays even though Ken was still an acting student...
 
6.
Jean Reno
Jean Reno was born Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents (from Andalucía) who moved to North Africa to seek work. His father was a linotypist. Reno settled in France at 17. He began studying drama and has credits in French television and theater as well as films. His first two marriages both ended in divorce...
 
7.
Vincent Cassel
Actor, Black Swan
Blue-eyed Vincent Cassel was born in Paris to a leading actor father, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and a journalist mother, Sabine Litique. Often labeled as a tough guy because of his roles, eclectic choices and talent have made of him a star of European cinema. First in La Haine, the young actor, actually coming from upper classes...
 
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Min-sik Choi
Actor, Oldeuboi
Choi Min-shik first made a name for himself in theater before breaking into the film world with a role in Park Chong-won's acclaimed film 'Our Twisted Hero' (1992). In the mid-nineties he continued to act in theater productions as well as in several TV dramas, including Moon Over Seoul with Han Seok-gyu...
 
10.
Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is best known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won an Academy Award...
 
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Wagner Moura
Wagner Moura is a Brazilian film, television and stage actor. Besides being a well-established and acclaimed actor in Brazil, he has achieved widespread international fame for his portrayal of Captain (later Colonel) Roberto Nascimento, protagonist of the highly successful 2007 film Elite Squad and its sequel...
 
13.
Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw his chance when a comedian suddenly fell ill...
 
14.
Tadanobu Asano
Actor, Thor
Asano Tadanobu is a Japanese film actor. His father, an actors' agent, suggested he take on what became his first role, in the TV show "Kimpachi Sensei," at the age of 16. His film debut was in the 1990 Swimming Upstream (Bataashi kingyo), though his first major critical success was in Shunji Iwai's Fried Dragon Fish...
 
15.
Hiroyuki Sanada
Hiroyuki Sanada was born on the 12th of October, 1960 in Tokyo. He made his film debut when he was 5 in Game of Chance (Shin'ichi Chiba played the lead role.) Sanada's father died when he was 11. Sanada joined Japan Action Club, organized and run by Sonny Chiba, when he was 12. Sanada first became famous as an action star for his role in The Shogun's Samurai...
 
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Kang-ho Song
Song Kang-ho never professionally trained as an actor, beginning his career in social theater groups after graduating from Kimhae High School. Later, he joined Kee Kuk-seo's influential theater company with its emphasis on instinctive acting and improvisation, which proved to be Song's training ground...
 
23.
Konstantin Khabenskiy
Konstantin Khabenskiy is a Russian actor known in the West for his work in the horror flicks Night Watch and Day Watch. He is also co-starring opposite Angelina Jolie in Wanted. He was born Konstantin Yurevich Khabenskiy on January 11, 1972, in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg...
 
24.
Saïd Taghmaoui
Saïd Taghmaoui was born July 19th 1973 in Villepinte, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, to Moroccan immigrant parents. He has 9 siblings. He dropped out of school at a young age and became a boxer; at one point ranking number 2 in France in his category. He met Mathieu Kassovitz with whom he co-wrote the 1995 French film "La Haine" which won the Best Director award in Cannes...
 
26.
Yun-Fat Chow
Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo. Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the then-British colony of Hong Kong...
 
30.
Thomas Kretschmann
Actor, King Kong
Thomas Kretschmann was born in East Germany. Before becoming an actor, he was a swimmer. He has acted in several popular American movies, such as Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Pianist, U-571, In Enemy Hands, etc. He has three children, Nicolas, Stella and Sascha with his ex-girlfriend Lena.
 
31.
Bruno Ganz
Actor, Downfall
Bruno Ganz debuted at the theatre in 1961 and gained there a good reputation as a solid, young actor. In 1970 he founded with Peter Stein the theatre company "Schaubuehne" of Berlin. His debut at the movies was early and unsuccessful during the decade of 1960. His talent as a reflexive actor with tendencies towards introspection was widely known after Summer Guests.
 
34.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, to Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, an accountant. "The Muscles from Brussels" started martial arts at the age of eleven. His father introduced him to martial arts when he saw his son was physically weak...
 
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Ricardo Darín
Ricardo Darín was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 16, 1957. He works since he was a little boy, and has obtained with the years a remarkable evolution from soap opera gallant and tv comedies to an excellent leading figure of the most importants Argentinian movies. At the age of 10 he made his debut in a play along with his parents...
 
39.
Filip Peeters
Filip Peeters was born on December 2, 1962 in Anderlecht, Belgium. Filip has been working in the theatre since 1987, but his roles in film and television have really brought him into the spotlight. Being fluent in German, he has been expanding his career in Germany since 2000, where his popularity rivals that in his native Belgium...
 
40.
Matthias Schoenaerts
Matthias Schoenaerts was born on December 8, 1977 in Antwerp, Belgium. His mother, Dominique Wiche, was a costume designer, translator and French teacher, his father is actor Julien Schoenaerts. He made his film debut at the age of 13, alongside his father in the Belgian film Daens, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film...
 
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Ulrich Thomsen
Ulrich Thomsen graduated from The Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance in 1993, after which playing on several theaters in Copenhagen, i.e. Dr. Dantes Aveny, Mungo Park and Østre Gasværks Teater. His debut on film was in Ole Bornedal's Nightwatch. Since then a number of roles in...
 
44.
Rolf Lassgård
Actor, Jägarna
He started acting school in Malmö and went from there to the Skånska Teatern in Landskrona, performing in plays by Shakespeare or Brecht. He made a breakthrough as Puck in William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer's Night Dream'. He also met his wife Birgitta there. The 1990s meant a lot of work in front of the camera...
 
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Mario Adorf
Mario Adorf, a tell-tale name indeed. Mario calls to mind the actor's Italian roots (his father was a Calabrian surgeon) whereas Adorf reveals his German origins (his mother was a radiologist from German-speaking Alsace). As for the full name Mario Adorf it echoes to perfection the international character of this living legend's long career...
 
51.
Til Schweiger
Actor, producer, writer, and director Til Schweiger is Germany's best-known actor and also the country's most successful director. With more than 51 Million admissions no other German filmmaker drew more people to cinemas. He runs his own production company Barefoot Films based in Berlin, Germany...
 
52.
Audrey Tautou
Actress, Amélie
Audrey Justine Tautou was born on August 9, 1976 in Beaumont, France, to Evelyne Marie Laure (Nuret), a teacher, and Bernard Tautou, a dental surgeon. Audrey showed an interest for comedy at an early age and started her acting lessons at 'Cours Florent'. In 1998 she won the best young actress award in the ninth 'Jeune Comedien de Cinema Festival' in Bezier...
 
53.
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in London, England in 1971. She is an Anglo-French actress and singer. The daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, she was raised in Paris. Gainsbourg made her motion picture debut in 1984. In 1986, Gainsbourg won a César Award for "Most Promising Actress"...
 
54.
Monica Bellucci
Actress, Irreversible
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci was born on September 30, 1964 in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, the only child of Brunella Briganti and Pasquale Bellucci. She originally pursued a career in the legal profession. While attending the University of Perugia, she modeled on the side to earn money for school...