In no particular order...
Academy Award-winning Actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard
, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud
, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton and her mother has Kabyle ancestry. Raised in Orléans...
Isabelle Huppert was born in 1953, in Paris, France, but spent her childhood in Ville d'Avray. Encouraged by her mother (who was a teacher of English), she followed the Conservatory of Versailles and won an acting prize for her work in Alfred de Musset
's "Un caprice". She then studied at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique and followed an illustrious theatrical career...
Isabelle Yasmine Adjani was born in Gennevilliers, Hauts-de-Seine, a suburb of Paris, to Emma Augusta "Gusti" (Schweinberger) and Mohammed Adjani. Her father was a Kabyle Algerian, from Iferhounène, and her mother was a Bavarian German. She grew up speaking German fluently. After winning a school recitation contest...
Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. She has a fraternal twin sister. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar
. Her mother, Marlène Jobert
, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of Sephardi Jewish heritage (during that time...
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...
Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, France, to Monique Yvette Stalens, a director, teacher, and actress, and Jean-Marie Binoche, a sculptor, director, and actor. Her mother was born in Czestochowa, Poland, of French, Walloon Belgian, and Polish descent, while her father is French. Juliette was only 23 when she first attracted the attention of international film critics with The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Catherine Deneuve was born October 22, 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was thirteen and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim
gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue
. But her breakthrough came with the excellent musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Brigitte Bardot was born on September 28, 1934 in Paris, France. Her father had an engineering degree and worked with his father in the family business. Brigitte's mother encouraged her daughter to take up music and dance, and she proved to be very adept at it. By the time she was 15, Brigitte was trying a modeling career...
Sophie Marceau was born Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu in Paris, France, to Simone (Morisset), a shop assistant, and Benoît Maupu, a truck driver. She grew up far from the studio spotlights. When she was 14 she was living in the Paris suburb of Gentilly with her father. She learned from friends that director Claude Pinoteau
was looking for new faces for a movie about teenagers called The Party
Virginie Ledoyen was born Virginie Fernandez on 15 November 1976 in Aubervilliers, near Paris. At the age of 2, she was already shooting advertisements for television. At 9, she started going to the École des Enfants du Spectacle, and made her film debut at 10 in What Every Frenchwoman Wants
. She was then nominated for the César (the French equivalent of an Oscar) for most promising actress in 1993...
Kristin Scott Thomas
Kristin Scott Thomas was born in Redruth, Cornwall, England, to Deborah (Hurlbatt) and Lieutenant Commander Simon Scott Thomas. Her ancestry includes Welsh, English, and Dutch. Her father was a pilot for the British Royal Navy and died in a flying accident in 1964. Her stepfather was also a pilot and died six years later under similar circumstances...
When people gave Louis Malle
credit for making a star of Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows
immediately followed by The Lovers
, he would point out that Moreau by that time had already been "recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation." She had made it to the Comédie Française in her 20s...
Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the French version of The Simpsons
. She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from Poland) ancestry...
Roxane Mesquida grew up in Le Pradet, a little town in the South of France. At the age of 11, while walking with her mother, writer Francoise Mesquida, she was spotted by director Manuel Pradal who cast her in Mary from the Bay of Angels (Marie Baie de Anges). In 1998, she played opposite Isabelle Huppert...
Clémence Poésy was born Clémence Guichard in Paris in 1982. She took her mother's maiden name, Poésy, as her stage name. She attended an alternative school for most of her education, but spent her last year at L'École alsacienne. She trained at the "Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique"...
Emmanuelle Béart was born August 14, 1963, in Gassin, France. She lived with her mother, brothers, and sister on a farm not far from Saint-Tropez in Provence (southern France), because her father, singer and poet Guy Béart
, did not want his children to be affected by the glamour world of Paris...
Aïssa Maïga is a French actress. She was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1975 to a Senegalese-Gambian mother and Malian father, an acclaimed journalist. She moved with her family to France when she was 4. She discovered her vocation as an actress in middle school, and won various professional roles while studying theater in high school...
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.
As of her youth, Sara Forestier revealed an artistic temperament, loving to write, to paint, and especially to act. When she was thirteen and half years old, she decided to accompany one of her friends to an audition. She took the audition with brilliance, and her career in the acting started here. She met an artistic agent and obtained minor parts in movies and TV movies until L'Esquive...
This lovely, docile, sensitive-appearing blonde French leading lady started impressively in films at age 6, making a most notable debut in René Clément
's Forbidden Games
. She abandoned acting a few years later for schooling and a normal upbringing. After a brief career as an interpreter and translator...
Daughter of French actress Ludmila Mikaël
and British stage director and actor Terry Hands
, granddaughter of famous French painter Pierre Dmitrienko, the discrete and beautiful Marina Hands first wanted to be a professional horse-rider but, eventually, had to give up these dreams. In 1995, she followed a French acting school...
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"...
Over the course of a five-decade career, she starred in nearly 150 films. She is a three-time César Award winner (1977, 1996, 2002), a two-time Molière Award winner, a BAFTA nominee, and a recipient of several international prizes including the Volpi Cup (Best actress) at the 1965 Venice Film Festival for Three Rooms in Manhattan...
Miou-Miou was born Sylvette Herry on February 22, 1950, in Paris, France. Her father was a gendarme, her mother was a sales-woman. Young Miou-Miou was selling strawberries helping out at her mother's fruit and vegetable stand at a street market. There she was spotted by actor-director Romain Bouteille
Tessa Charlotte Rampling was born 5 February 1946 in Sturmer, England, to Isabel Anne (Gurteen), a painter, and Godfrey Lionel Rampling, an Olympic gold medalist, army officer, and colonel, who became a NATO commander. She was educated at Jeanne d'Arc Académie pour Jeunes Filles in Versailles, France and at the exclusive St...
The face of Simone Signoret
on the Paris Metro movie posters in March 1982 looked even older than her 61 years. She was still a box office draw, but the film, L'étoile du Nord
, would be her last theatrical release. She played the landlady. Signoret had a long film apprenticeship during World War II, mostly as an extra and occasionally getting to speak a single line...
She had the makings of a blonde bombshell and could have ended up in film history annals as merely a second-rate Brigitte Bardot
, but sex symbol Marina Vlady proved she was capable of much more. In her prime she was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a "Best Actress" award at the 1963 Cannes Film...
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...
The radiant Francoise Dorleac is better remembered today as the elder, ill-fated sister of French film star Catherine Deneuve
. The Paris-born actress, however, was actually the first to become a star and had quite a formidable career of her own in the 1960s until it was cut short. Born into a theatrical family in 1942 (her father was actor Maurice Dorléac
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...
Rebellious. Passionate. Gifted. Beautiful. Béatrice Dalle could be a mix of some artist from many centuries ago and a rock star. Discovered in Betty Blue
, Dalle has become a sex symbol and a respected performer. Known for her problems with justice, her relationships with rapper Joey Starr
and her explicit talking...
Fanny Ardent was the youngest of 5 children born to a cavalry officer and his wife. She was raised in Monte Carlo where she was educated at a convent school. A voracious reader, she discovered Proust at age 15 and felt as though his writings were for her. When she was 17 her father died and the shock of his loss never left her...