The Best Actors Ever - France

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 01 Oct 2017 | updated - 1 day ago | Public

Points from my "The Best Films Ever Made"-Lists. Vol. 1 = 100%, Vol. 2 = 50%, Vol. 3 = 33%, Vol. 4 = 25%, Vol. 5 = 20 %, Vol. 6 = 17%

1. Gérard Depardieu

Actor | Cyrano de Bergerac

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 ...

7457 points

2. Jean Gabin

Actor | La grande illusion

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. ...

7154 points

3. Yves Montand

Actor | Le salaire de la peur

Yves Montand was born on October 13, 1921 in Monsummano Terme, Tuscany, Italy as Ivo Livi. He was an actor, known for The Wages of Fear (1953), Jean de Florette (1986) and Let's Make Love (1960). He was married to Simone Signoret. He died on November 9, 1991 in Senlis, Oise, France.

6460 points

4. Michel Piccoli

Actor | Le mépris

Born in a musician's family, he spent the first fifteen years of his career appearing both on stage and on screen, mostly in supporting roles. His breakthrough came after Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt (1963) and about 100 films, ranging from art-house movies to commercial mainstream, followed. He won ...

6007 points

5. Michel Simon

Actor | Le quai des brumes

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...

5356 points

6. Alain Delon

Actor | Le samouraï

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 ...

4977 points

7. Jean-Louis Trintignant

Actor | Amour

Born 1930 in Piolenc in south France as son of a wealthy industrialist. Studied law in Aix-en-Provence. Started theatrical acting in 1950, but was regarded untalented at first, until Roger Vadim discovered him for the movies. When the press stalked him 1956 because of rumors of an affair with ...

4347 points

8. Marcel Dalio

Actor | Sabrina

Sunday, November the 20th is the anniversary of Marcel Dalio's death in 1983. It was the end of a serendipitous life. You know him. He was a citizen of the world. Born Israel Moshe Blauschild, in Paris, in 1900, he became a much sought-after character actor. His lovely animated face with its great ...

3163 points

9. 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 (1920) by Marcel L'Herbier) he used his chance in Hollywood after several filming stations ...

3075 points

10. Philippe Noiret

Actor | Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

Philippe Noiret was one of French cinema's most familiar faces who appeared in more than 140 films in a career that spanned more than half a century.

He was born on October 1, 1930, in Lille, Nord, France, into a middle class family of shopkeepers. His father was fond of literature. Young Noiret ...

3045 points

11. Michael Lonsdale

Actor | The Day of the Jackal

Michael Lonsdale was born on May 24, 1931 in Paris, France as Michael Edward Lonsdale-Crouch. He is an actor, known for The Day of the Jackal (1973), Moonraker (1979) and Ronin (1998).

2939 points

12. Bernard Blier

Actor | L'école buissonnière

Bernard Blier was born on January 11, 1916 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was an actor, known for L'école buissonnière (1949), Manèges (1950) and Speriamo che sia femmina (1986). He was married to Annette Martin and Gisèle Brunet. He died on March 29, 1989 in Saint-Cloud, ...

2714 points

13. Lino Ventura

Actor | L'armée des ombres

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 ...

2648 points

14. Jean-Claude Brialy

Director | Églantine

One of the most popular and respected actors to come from the French "New Wave" film movement, Jean-Claude Brialy was born to a military family, which included one brother, in French colonial Algeria on March 30, 1933. Residing in various places while his father, a colonel with the French Army, ...

2459 points

15. Serge Reggiani

Actor | Il gattopardo

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 ...

2411 points

16. Pierre Brasseur

Actor | Les enfants du paradis

Pierre Brasseur was born on December 22, 1905 in Paris, France as Pierre Espinasse. He was an actor and writer, known for Children of Paradise (1945), Eyes Without a Face (1960) and Gates of the Night (1946). He was married to Lina Magrini and Odette Joyeux. He died on August 14, 1972 in Bruneck, ...

2308 points

17. Jean-Paul Belmondo

Actor | Pierrot le fou

The son of the renowned French sculptor Paul Belmondo, he studied at Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD); after the minor stage performances he made his screen debut in À pied, à cheval et en voiture (1957) but the episodes with his participation were cut before ...

2133 points

18. Mathieu Amalric

Actor | Le scaphandre et le papillon

Mathieu Amalric was born on October 25, 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is an actor and director, known for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Munich (2005).

2068 points

19. Niels Arestrup

Actor | Un prophète

Niels Arestrup was born on February 8, 1949 in Montreuil, Seine [now Seine-Saint-Denis], France. He is an actor and writer, known for A Prophet (2009), Diplomacy (2014) and War Horse (2011).

2065 points

20. Jean-Pierre Léaud

Actor | Les quatre cents coups

Jean-Pierre Léaud is not everybody's cup of tea for sure, but will remain an important name in film history. As an actor he can be adored or hated for exactly the same reasons: he is one of those rare players that directors let improvise his dialogue, which gets on certain viewers' nerves while it ...

2043 points

21. Jacques Perrin

Actor | Les choristes

He started out as romantic hero full of beauty and talent in Girl with a Suitcase (1961) beside Claudia Cardinale. Director Valerio Zurlini engaged the talented young actor for his Family Portrait (1962) as Marcello Mastroianni's brother. Jacques Perrin's longtime work with Director 'Constantin ...

1991 points

22. Daniel Auteuil

Actor | Caché

Daniel Auteuil was born on January 24, 1950 in Algiers, Alger, France. He is an actor and director, known for Caché (2005), Jean de Florette (1986) and The Closet (2001). He has been married to Aude Ambroggi since July 22, 2006. They have one child. He was previously married to Emmanuelle ...

1986 points

23. Jean Rochefort

Actor | L'homme du train

French character star Jean Rochefort expressed an interest in acting early in life. Born in 1930, he trained at the Paris Conservatoire but had to halt his studies due to military service. Relocating to Paris, he developed a minor name for himself in cabaret and stage plays. He also worked with the...

1959 points

24. François Cluzet

Actor | Intouchables

François Cluzet was born on September 21, 1955 in Paris, France. He is an actor, known for The Intouchables (2011), Tell No One (2006) and French Kiss (1995).

1947 points

25. Maurice Chevalier

Soundtrack | The Love Parade

Maurice Chevalier's first working job was as an acrobat, until a serious accident ended that career. He turned his talents to singing and acting, and made several short films in France. During World War I he enlisted in the French army. He was wounded in battle, captured and placed in a POW camp by...

1918 points

26. Vincent Cassel

Actor | L'ennemi public n°1

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 (1995), the young actor, ...

1890 points

27. Paul Meurisse

Actor | Les diaboliques

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...

1860 points

28. Isaach De Bankolé

Actor | Casino Royale

Isaach De Bankole, C'sar award-winning actor, was born on the Ivory Coast. Isaach was discovered on the streets of Paris while studying to be an airline pilot. He has a degree in Acting from Cours Simon and a Masters in Mathematics from the Universite de Paris.

1844 points

29. Rémy Girard

Actor | Les invasions barbares

Rémy Girard was born on August 10, 1950 in Jonquière, Quebec, Canada. He is an actor, known for The Barbarian Invasions (2003), Incendies (2010) and Jesus of Montreal (1989).

1726 points

30. Maurice Ronet

Actor | Le feu follet

Maurice Ronet was born on April 13, 1927 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France as Maurice Julien Marie Robinet. He was an actor and director, known for The Fire Within (1963), Elevator to the Gallows (1958) and Purple Noon (1960). He was married to Maria Pacôme. He died on March 14, 1983 in Paris, ...

1712 points

31. Jean-Pierre Cassel

Actor | Murder on the Orient Express

He made his movie debut at the invitation of Gene Kelly, who cast Cassel in the 1956 Paris-filmed seriocomedy The Happy Road (1957). At least, that's what the press releases claimed; actually, the tall, elastic-faced Cassel had been plugging away in films on a minor basis since 1950. Shortly after, ...

1700 points

32. Michel Bouquet

Actor | Renoir

Michel Bouquet is an actor born in the 14th arrondissement of Paris on the 6 November 1925. His father, Georges Bouquet, was a World War One veteran and a wine-maker. His mother Marie was a milliner. He had three older brothers: Georges, Bernard and Serge. Michel's father was always a shadowy ...

1698 points

33. Jérémie Renier

Actor | In Bruges

Jérémie Renier was born on January 6, 1981 in Brussels, Belgium. He is an actor and writer, known for In Bruges (2008), Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) and My Way (2012).

1691 points

34. Tahar Rahim

Actor | Un prophète

Tahar Rahim was born on July 4, 1981 in Belfort, Territoire de Belfort, France. He is an actor, known for A Prophet (2009), The Past (2013) and Day of the Falcon (2011). He has been married to Leïla Bekhti since 2010.

1496 points

35. François Périer

Actor | Le samouraï

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 ...

1395 points

36. Louis Jouvet

Actor | Drôle de drame

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. "...

1345 points

37. Jean-Louis Barrault

Actor | Les enfants du paradis

Celebrated French stage actor/director/producer Jean-Louis Barrault was born on September 8, 1910. A superlative tragedian and mime, his dedication to both avant-garde and classical plays helped revive the French theatre after World War II, while presenting world premières of works by such ...

1229 points

38. Jean Servais

Actor | Le plaisir

Jean Servais was born on September 24, 1910 in Antwerp, Belgium. He was an actor and writer, known for Le Plaisir (1952), Rififi (1955) and The Longest Day (1962). He was married to Gilberte Graillot and Dominique Blanchar. He died on February 17, 1976 in Paris, France.

1220 points

39. Jean Yanne

Actor | Tout le monde il est beau, tout le monde il est gentil

Jean Yanne was born on July 18, 1933 in Les Lilas, Seine [now Seine-Saint-Denis], France as Jean Roger Gouyé. He was an actor and writer, known for Everybody He Is Nice, Everybody He Is Beautiful (1972), Weekend (1967) and Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001). He was married to Jacqueline Renée Guellerin...

1152 points

40. Fabrice Luchini

Actor | Dans la maison

Fabrice Luchini was born on November 1, 1951 in Paris, France as Robert Luchini. He is an actor and writer, known for In the House (2012), Molière (2007) and Beaumarchais the Scoundrel (1996).

1140 points

41. Charles Aznavour

Actor | Tirez sur le pianiste

Beloved French chanson entertainer Charles Aznavour, who wrote more than 800 songs, recorded more than 1,000 of them in French, English, German and Spanish and sold over 100 million records in all, was born Chahnour Varinag Aznavourian on May 22, 1924, in Paris, the younger of two children born to ...

1097 points

42. Jean Reno

Actor | Léon

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. ...

1073 points

43. Charles Denner

Actor | Z

Mr. Denner began studying in Paris with Charles Dullin in 1945. Four years later, he joined the National Popular Theater. In 1962, he was offered his first big film role, in Bluebeard (1963). He made thirty films after that, notably with Claude Lelouch and François Truffaut. Over the years, he ...

1064 points

44. Bourvil

Actor | The Longest Day

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 ...

1008 points

45. André Dussollier

Actor | Ne le dis à personne

André Dussollier was born on February 17, 1946 in Annecy, Haute-Savoie, France. He is an actor, known for Tell No One (2006), Amélie (2001) and Beauty and the Beast (2014).

891 points

46. Michel Serrault

Actor | Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud

As accomplished and versatile the well-loved French actor Michel Serrault proved to be over the course of five decades, American audiences still remember this actor for one role only - that of the neurotic, outrageously flamboyant drag performer Albin (aka Zaza) in the side-splitting French gay ...

839 points

47. André Wilms

Actor | Le Havre

André Wilms was born on April 29, 1947 in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France. He is an actor, known for Le Havre (2011), La Vie de Bohème (1992) and L'Enfer (1994).

834 points

48. Jean Marais

Actor | La belle et la bête

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 ...

833 points

49. Melvil Poupaud

Actor | Laurence Anyways

Melvil Poupaud was born on January 26, 1973 in Paris, France. He is an actor and director, known for Laurence Anyways (2012), Time to Leave (2005) and Speed Racer (2008).

777 points

50. Raimu

Actor | La femme du boulanger

Orson Welles once called beloved, down-to-earth French character star Raimu (born Jules Auguste Cesar Muraire) "the greatest actor who ever lived." It is hard to argue the compliment of one genius to another. Raimu was born in Toulon, France on December 17, 1883 of very humble means. He began his ...

766 points

51. Louis de Funès

Actor | Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob

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...

749 points

52. Jean-Pierre Marielle

Actor | The Da Vinci Code

Jean-Pierre Marielle was born on April 12, 1932 in Paris, France. He was an actor, known for The Da Vinci Code (2006), Coup de Torchon (1981) and Micmacs (2009). He was married to Agathe Natanson, Catherine-Françoise Burette, Michelle Charlotte Bompart and Noëlle Wolff. He died on April 24, 2019 in...

707 points

53. Gérard Philipe

Actor | Le rouge et le noir

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 ...

700 points

54. Pierre Arditi

Actor | Mélo

Pierre Arditi was born on December 1, 1944 in Paris, France. He is an actor, known for Mélo (1986), Sauveur Giordano (2001) and Smoking/No Smoking (1993). He has been married to Evelyne Bouix since May 31, 2010.

660 points

55. Vincent Lindon

Actor | La loi du marché

Vincent Lindon was born on July 15, 1959 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Vincent Alfred Fernand Lindon. He is an actor and writer, known for The Measure of a Man (2015), La Haine (1995) and Anything for Her (2008). He was previously married to Sandrine Kiberlain.

647 points

56. Lambert Wilson

Actor | The Matrix Reloaded

Lambert Wilson was born in Paris and studied acting at the Drama Centre in London.

A fluent English speaker, he made his feature film debut at the age of twenty-two in Fred Zinnemann's Five Days One Summer (1981) starring opposite Sean Connery. He went on to work with many of France's most ...

593 points

57. Patrick Dewaere

Actor | Un mauvais fils

Popular but troubled renegade French actor Patrick Dewaere was christened Jean-Marie Patrick Bourdeaux on January 26, 1947, at Saint-Brieuc in Britanny in the north-west region of France. The third of six children born to actress Mado Maurin (1915-2011), his mothere made acting a family affair. All...

559 points

58. Michel Blanc

Actor | Grosse fatigue

Michel Blanc was born on April 16, 1952 in Courbevoie, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France. He is an actor and writer, known for Dead Tired (1994), Monsieur Hire (1989) and The Minister (2011).

534 points

59. Jean-Pierre Aumont

Actor | Lili

Another in the long line of dramatically handsome foreign imports who made an immediate impact on WWII Hollywood was debonair French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont. The epitome of grace and sophistication, the stylish leading man went on to have a long and respectful career on stage, film and TV, both ...

395 points

60. Louis Jourdan

Actor | Octopussy

Louis Jourdan was born Louis Robert Gendre in Marseille, France, to Yvonne (née Jourdan) and Henry Gendre, a hotel owner. He was educated in France, Britain, and Turkey. He trained as an actor with René Simon at the École Dramatique. He debuted on screen in 1939, going on to play cultivated, ...

391 points

61. Fernandel

Actor | Don Camillo

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 ...

377 points

62. Pierre Richard

Actor | Shekvarebuli kulinaris ataserti retsepti

Certainly one of France's supreme farceurs in the classic tradition, comedian Pierre Richard was born to an upper crust family with an embarrassing riches of middle names as he was christened Pierre Richard Maurice Charles Leopold Defays. Working and building up his trade at the Paris Music Hall in...

327 points

63. Romain Duris

Actor | De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté

Appealing actor Romain Duris is the exact example of those who arrived in the movie industry by chance, and to stardom without really desiring it. Discovered by a casting director while he was waiting in front of a high school in Paris, he was offered a role. Between popular successes such as Le p&...

287 points

64. Denis Lavant

Actor | Holy Motors

Denis Lavant was born on June 17, 1961 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He is an actor and writer, known for Holy Motors (2012), Beau travail (1999) and Boy Meets Girl (1984).

252 points



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