A list of actors and directors who have made films in at least three different languages.
List guidelines: The actors need to actually speak and understand the languages they use, not memorize the lines phonetically. Also, I'm assigning credit for between-film language-use, not for within-film language-use. So if English, German, and French are all spoken in the same movie I'm not giving credit for three languages; the actor or director must work mostly in English for one movie, French in another movie, and German in another movie, etc.
I haven't seen many of these films and I'm making some guesses about language-use from the IMDb info, so let me know if you spot mistakes. And I know there must be many more polyglot talents, so please leave suggestions!
Ingrid Bergman was one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema. Bergman is also one of the most Oscar-awarded actresses, tied with Meryl Streep
, both are second only to Katharine Hepburn
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He is the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his father's partial German ancestry...
Assumpta Serna was born in Barcelona, Spain. She studied Law but abandoned it for her real passion, acting. Her career has spanned over 103 films and TV projects in over 20 countries. She has won more than twenty best actress awards thought the world (Spain, France, Italy, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay...
Joaquim de Almeida
Joaquim de Almeida was born in Lisbon, Portugal. Son of two pharmacists and the sixth of eight kids, Joaquim showed signs at an early age that his future lay not in the family business. At the age of eighteen, after attending the theater course at the Lisbon Conservatory for two years, he left Portugal...
Daniel Brühl was born in Barcelona, Spain. His father was German TV director Hanno Brühl
(1937-2010), who was born in São Paulo, Brazil. His Spanish mother was a teacher. He also has a brother and a sister, Oliver and Miriam. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Cologne, Germany, where he grew up and attended the Dreikönigsgymnasium...
Liv Ullmann's father was a Norwegian engineer who used to work abroad, so as a child she lived in Tokyo, Canada, New York and Oslo. In the mid-'50s she made her stage debut and in 1957 made her film debut. She really became successful, however, when she began to work for Swedish director Ingmar Bergman
in such films as Persona
Iconic American-born singer and actor in international films since the 1950s. Born in L.A. to Russian immigrant parents, Constantine studied voice in Vienna. He returned to the US, where his singing career wavered and he found work as a film extra. Constantine first achieved fame in Paris, where he launched a successful career as a popular singer under the tutelage of Édith Piaf
Director Max Ophüls was born Max Oppenheimer in Saarbrücken, Germany. He began his career as a stage actor and director in the golden twenties. He worked in cities such as Stuttgart, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Vienna, Frankfurt, Breslau and Berlin. In 1929 his son Marcel Ophüls
was born in Frankfurt, Germany...
Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, a director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions. He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov on April 16, 1921, in Swiss Cottage, London...
Franka Potente was born on 22 July 1974 in the German town of Dülmen, to Hildegard, a medical assistant, and Dieter Potente, a teacher. After her graduation in 1994, she went to the Otto-Falckenberg-Schule, a drama school in Munich, but soon broke off to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York...
This gorgeous Teutonic temptress was one of Hollywood's most captivating imports of the 1960s. Blonde and beautiful, Berlin-born Elke Sommer, with her trademark pouty lips, high cheekbones and sky-high bouffant hairdos, proved irresistible to American audiences, whether adorned in lace or leather, or donning lingerie or lederhosen...
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya was an architecture student before she entered modeling as her part-time job. She was best known for her Pepsi commercial with Mahima Chaudhry
. With her green-gray eyes, she was already approached by big names in India's film industry, where they offered her starring roles. She rejected the film offers since she aimed to be an architect...
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
Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance...
As a young Dutch actress with numerous internationally acclaimed films under her belt and whose work has been twice Oscar nominated, Thekla Reuten is an undeniable front-runner in the new wave of European actresses lauded on the international stage and screen. Thekla first came to wide international...
The 1/2 Taiwanese and 1/2 Japanese Takeshi Kaneshiro may have started out as a puerile teen idol in the Chinese entertainment scene, but he's since become a proper film star in his own right. Whether by his own design or not, the boyishness that marked his first steps into showbiz has evolved into a cool...
Just shy of six feet tall with crystal blue eyes and flaxen blonde hair, this ambitious glamazon from a quiet town in the north of Sweden has dreams of acting after a few more years of modeling. Victoria has graced the pages of Playboy magazine as Miss December 1996, and has just been named the 1997 Playboy's Playmate of the Year...
Asin was born in Cochin, Kerala, India in the Malayalam-speaking Thottumkal family which consists of her businessman dad, Joseph, and mom, Dr. Seline, who practices in Ernakulam. She attended Naval Public School in Cochin, and after obtaining her Matriculation, was enrolled in St. Theresa's Higher Secondary School...
Danish beauty Connie Nielsen consistently lights up the screen with an eclectic bevy of film roles. She was born in Frederikshavn, Denmark, to a mother who worked as an insurance clerk, and a father, Bent Nielsen, who was a bus driver. Nielsen began her acting career working alongside her mother on the local revue and variety scene...
The second child of an Italian germanist and a Greek painter, Valeria Golino grew up in Naples until her parents parted. After three years in Athens with her mother and another three in Naples with her father, she began to work as a model. She left high school after her first movie and didn't study performing arts at all...
Born in 1973, Irina Björklund is one of the most popular Finnish film stars of the end of 1990s and beginning of the 2000s. After studying years 1993-1996 in The Theatre Academy of Finland she made her silver screen debut in Pekka Parikka's (director of The Winter War
) last film, Tie naisen sydämeen
". Another actor on the film was Peter Franzén
who become her husband in the same year...
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it be Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film...
Isabella Rossellini, the Italian actress and model who has made her home in America since 1979 and holds dual Italian and American citizenship, was born cinema royalty when she made her debut on June 18, 1952 in Rome. She is the daughter of two legends, three-time Oscar-winning Swedish-born actress Ingrid Bergman
and neo-realist master Italian director Roberto Rossellini
Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon was born in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, France, to Édith (Arnold) and Fabien Delon. His father was of French and Corsican Italian descent, and his mother was of French and German ancestry. His parents divorced early on, and Delon had a stormy childhood, being frequently expelled from school...
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...
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...
Cassel has acted in at least three different languages
1. French La Haine
2. English Black Swan
3. Portuguese Adrift ”
This beautiful, dark-haired Swiss actress made a hit with a supporting role in her first film, as the piano teacher in Louis Malle's "Au revoir, les enfants" (1987). Educated in London and Geneva, and a Paris resident since the age of 18, Jacob became a promising starlet with her Malle success and followed...
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...
Diane Kruger was born Diane Heidkrüger in Algermissen, near Hildesheim, Germany, to Maria-Theresa, a bank employee, and Hans-Heinrich Heidkrüger, a computer specialist. She studied ballet with the Royal Ballet in London before an injury ended her career. She returned to Germany and became a top fashion model...
Delphine was born in Beirut on the 10th April 1932 into an intellectual Protestant family. Her Alsatian father, Henri Seyrig, was the director of the Archaeological Institute and later France's cultural attaché in New York during World War Two. Her Swiss mother, Hermine De Saussure, was an adept of Rousseau's theories...
Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children with Lucius, but the exes had a brief re-encounter in 1962 which resulted in Alicia's birth...
Blonde, blue-eyed, tall and handsome Dutch actor Rutger Hauer has an international reputation for playing everything from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. Hauer was born in Breukelen, a town in the province of Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is the son of Teunke (Mellema) and Arend Hauer
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7...
Marie Magdelene Dietrich von Losch (aka Marlene) was born in Berlin, Germany on December 27, 1901. Her father was an army officer who had served in the Franco-Prussian War. Because of his constant absences from the family due to his army duties, Marlene and the rest had to rely on themselves. When he died...
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began...
The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí
and Federico García Lorca
Wong Kar-wai (born 17 July 1956) is a Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker, internationally renowned as an auteur for his visually unique, highly stylised, emotionally resonant work, including Ah fei zing zyun (1990), Dung che sai duk (1994), Chung Hing sam lam (1994), Do lok tin si (1995), Chun gwong cha sit (1997)...
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein
, Andrei Tarkovsky
(the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood
, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival...
Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until reunification)...
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard
) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki
, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers...
He studied at the College of Technical Sciences of Vienna's Academy of Graphic Arts but unhappy with the career path chosen for him by his parents, he ran away to study art in Munich and Paris. He then spent many years travelling the world including Asia. In 1913, he returned to Paris to paint. When World War I began...
Lang has directed movies in at least three different languages
1. German M
2. English The Big Heat
3. French Liliom ”
Abbas Kiarostami was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1940. He graduated from university with a degree in fine arts before starting work as a graphic designer. He then joined the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, where he started a film section, and this started his career as a filmmaker at the age of 30...
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 seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...