Les plus grands acteurs français

by baltric | created - 19 Feb 2014 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

1. 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. ...

2. 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 ...

3. 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 ...

4. 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 ...

5. Jacques Tati

Writer | Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

The comic genius Jacques Tati was born Taticheff, descended from a noble Russian family. His grandfather, Count Dimitri, had been a general in the Imperial Army and had served as military attaché to the Russian Embassy in Paris. His father, Emmanuel Taticheff, was a well-to-do picture framer who ...

6. 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...

7. 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.

8. 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 ...

9. 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 ...

10. 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 ...

11. 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. "...

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), Quai des Orfèvres (1947) and Manèges (1950). He was married to Annette Martin and Gisèle Brunet. He died on March 29, 1989 in Saint-Cloud, ...

13. 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.

14. 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).

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 ...

16. Jean-Pierre Bacri

Actor | Comme une image

Jean-Pierre Bacri was born on May 24, 1951 in Castiglione, Alger, France. He is an actor and writer, known for Look at Me (2004), Un air de famille (1996) and The Taste of Others (2000).

17. 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, ...

18. 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), War Horse (2011) and Diplomacy (2014).

19. Jean Carmet

Actor | Les misérables

Jean Carmet was born on April 25, 1920 in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France as Jean Gabriel Edmond Carmet. He was an actor and writer, known for Les Misérables (1982), Bouvard et Pecuchet (1989) and The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972). He died on April 20, 1994 in Sèvres, ...

20. 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.

21. Jean Sorel

Actor | The Day of the Jackal

Jean Sorel was born on September 25, 1934 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France as Jean de Combault-Roquebrune. He is an actor, known for The Day of the Jackal (1973), Belle de Jour (1967) and One on Top of the Other (1969). He was previously married to Anna Maria Ferrero.

22. 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 ...

23. 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...

24. 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...

25. 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 ...

26. Charles Vanel

Actor | Les diaboliques

Charles Vanel was born on August 21, 1892 in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France as Charles-Marie Vanel. He was an actor and director, known for Diabolique (1955), The Wages of Fear (1953) and To Catch a Thief (1955). He was married to Arlette Mauricette Bailly. He died on April 15, 1989 in Cannes, ...

27. Julien Carette

Actor | La règle du jeu

Julien Carette was born on December 23, 1897 in Paris, France as Julien Victor. He was an actor, known for The Rules of the Game (1939), La Grande Illusion (1937) and L'heureuse aventure (1935). He died on July 20, 1966 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, France.

28. 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 ...

29. 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, ...

30. 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 ...

31. Robert Hossein

Writer | Les misérables

The son of orchestra conductor André Hossein, Paris-born Robert Hossein was trained at René Simon's acting school. Hossein labored away as actor/director with the legendary Theatre Grand Guignol in Montmartre, then spent several years on the "legitimate" stage. In films from 1955's Rififi (Rififi (...

32. Jean-Pierre Darroussin

Actor | Un air de famille

Jean-Pierre Darroussin was born on December 4, 1953 in Courbevoie, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France as Jean-Pierre Daroussin. He is an actor and director, known for Un air de famille (1996), Le pressentiment (2006) and Le Havre (2011).

33. Jean Desailly

Actor | La peau douce

Jean Desailly was born on August 24, 1920 in Paris, France. He was an actor, known for The Soft Skin (1964), On ne badine pas avec l'amour (1955) and The End of Belle (1961). He was married to Simone Valère and Nicole Desailly. He died on June 10, 2008 in Dourdan, Essonne, France.

34. 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 ...

35. Pierre Fresnay

Actor | La grande illusion

Pierre Fresnay was born on April 4, 1897 in Paris, France as Pierre Jules Louis Laudenbach. He was an actor and writer, known for La Grande Illusion (1937), Amazing Monsieur Fabre (1951) and Monsieur Vincent (1947). He was married to Berthe Bovy and Rachel Bérendt. He died on January 9, 1975 in ...

36. Francis Blanche

Actor | Tartarin de Tarascon

Francis Blanche was born on July 20, 1921 in Paris, France as Francis Jean Blanche. He was an actor, known for Tartarin de Tarascon (1962), Belle de Jour (1967) and La Grande Bouffe (1973). He was married to Edith Fontaine. He died on July 6, 1974 in Paris.

37. Paul Crauchet

Actor | La gloire de mon père

Paul Crauchet was born on July 14, 1920 in Béziers, Hérault, France as Paul Henri Jean Crauchet. He was an actor, known for My Father's Glory (1990), My Mother's Castle (1990) and Belphegor (1965). He was married to Suzon. He died on December 19, 2012 in Rocbaron, Var, France.

38. Robert Dalban

Actor | Les diaboliques

Robert Dalban was born on July 19, 1903 in Celles-sur-Belle, Deux-Sèvres, France as Gaston Barré. He is known for his work on Diabolique (1955), Fantomas (1964) and Signé: Arsène Lupin (1959). He was married to Madeleine Robinson. He died on April 3, 1987 in Paris, France.

39. Jean Lefebvre

Actor | Les diaboliques

Jean Lefebvre was born on October 3, 1919 in Valenciennes, Nord, France as Jean Marcel Lefebvre. He was an actor, known for Diabolique (1955), Now Where Did the Seventh Company Get to? (1973) and Une fille sur la route (1952). He was married to Brigitte Lerebours, Yori Bertin and Micheline Grasser....

40. 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 ...

41. 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).

42. 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 ...

43. 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...

44. 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, ...

45. 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 ...

46. Sami Frey

Actor | En compagnie d'Antonin Artaud

Sami Frey was born on October 13, 1937 in Paris, France as Samuel Frei. He is an actor and director, known for En compagnie d'Antonin Artaud (1993), Band of Outsiders (1964) and Revenge of the Musketeers (1994).

47. Grégory Gadebois

Actor | Angèle et Tony

Grégory Gadebois was born on July 24, 1976 in Gruchet-le-Valasse, Seine-Maritime, France. He is an actor, known for Angel & Tony (2010), Flowers for Algernon (2014) and The Returned (2012).

48. 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).

49. 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 ...

50. Charles Blavette

Actor | Toni

Charles Blavette was born on June 24, 1902 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. He was an actor, known for Toni (1935), Twisted Mistress (1942) and Cecile Is Dead (1944). He died on November 21, 1967 in Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

51. Jean Poiret

Writer | The Birdcage

Jean Poiret was born on August 17, 1926 in Paris, France as Jean Gustave Poiré. He was an actor and writer, known for The Birdcage (1996), Poulet au vinaigre (1985) and Le zèbre (1992). He was married to Caroline Cellier and Françoise Dorin. He died on March 14, 1992 in Suresnes, ...

52. Guy Marchand

Actor | Garde à vue

Guy Marchand was born on May 22, 1937 in Paris, France. He is an actor, known for Garde à vue (1981), Coup de Torchon (1981) and Nestor Burma (1991).

53. Claude Rich

Actor | Je t'aime, je t'aime

Claude Rich was born on February 8, 1929 in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France. He was an actor and writer, known for Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968), Asterix and Obelix Meet Cleopatra (2002) and Le souper (1992). He was married to Catherine Rich. He died on July 20, 2017 in Orgeval, Yvelines, France.

54. Daniel Gélin

Actor | The Man Who Knew Too Much

Gallic lead and character actor Daniel Gelin did not have an easy life but was warmly embraced as a talented star who appeared to fine advantage for such legendary directors as Max Ophüls, Louis Malle, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, and Claude Lelouch. He left home at age 16 to take dramatic arts ...

55. 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, ...

56. André Pousse

Actor | Frank Riva

André Pousse was born on October 20, 1919 in Paris, France. He was an actor, known for Frank Riva (2003), Cluedo (1993) and Un Flic (1972). He died on September 8, 2005 in Gassin, Var, France.

57. 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 ...

58. Jean Bouise

Actor | Le grand bleu

Jean Bouise was born on June 3, 1929 in Le Havre, Seine-Inférieure [now Seine-Maritime], France. He was an actor, known for The Big Blue (1988), La Femme Nikita (1990) and Hothead (1979). He was married to Isabelle Sadoyan. He died on July 6, 1989 in Lyon, Rhône, France.

59. Paul Frankeur

Actor | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie

Paul Frankeur was born on June 29, 1905 in Paris, France. He was an actor, known for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Milky Way (1969) and The Phantom of Liberty (1974). He died on October 27, 1974 in Nevers, Nièvre, France.

60. Claude Piéplu

Actor | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie

Claude Piéplu was born on May 10, 1923 in Paris, France as Claude Léon Auguste Piéplu. He was an actor and writer, known for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar (1999) and The Tenant (1976). He died on May 24, 2006 in Paris.

61. Gaston Modot

Actor | La grande illusion

Gaston Modot was born on December 31, 1887 in Paris, France as Gaston Victor Modot. He was an actor and writer, known for La Grande Illusion (1937), Children of Paradise (1945) and La terre du diable (1922). He died on February 19, 1970 in Le Raincy, Seine-Saint-Denis, France.

62. Pierre Vaneck

Actor | La science des rêves

Pierre Vaneck was born on April 15, 1931 in Langson, Tonkin, Vietnam as Pierre Van Hecke. He is known for his work on The Science of Sleep (2006), He Who Must Die (1957) and Othello (1995). He was married to Sophie Becker. He died on January 31, 2010 in Paris, France.

63. 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...

64. Maurice Risch

Actor | Le gendarme et les extra-terrestres

Maurice Risch was born on January 25, 1943 in Paris, France as Maurice Albert Risch. He is known for his work on The Troops & Aliens (1979), Le Tour du monde en 80 jours (1975) and The Last Metro (1980).

65. Albert Rémy

Actor | Les quatre cents coups

Albert Rémy was born on April 9, 1915 in Sèvres, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France. He was an actor and director, known for The 400 Blows (1959), The Train (1964) and It Happened at the Inn (1943). He died on January 26, 1967 in Paris, France.

66. 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&...

67. Marc Porel

Actor | Sette note in nero

Marc Porel was born on January 3, 1949 in Lausanne, Switzerland as Marc Landry. He was an actor and writer, known for The Psychic (1977), Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976) and Ludwig (1973). He was married to Barbara Magnolfi and Bénédicte Lacoste. He died on August 15, 1983 in Casablanca, ...

68. Maurice Biraud

Actor | Les aventures de Salavin

Maurice Biraud was born on March 3, 1922 in Paris, France. He was an actor, known for The Adventures of Salavin (1964), Le monte-charge (1962) and Le complot (1973). He was married to Françoise Soulié. He died on December 24, 1982 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

69. Raymond Aimos

Actor | Le quai des brumes

One of the best character actors of the nineteen thirties and early forties, Raymond Aimos (most often simply credited as Aimos) was the quintessential 'titi parisien' (Parisian kid). The numerous characters Aimos embodied (he appeared in at least 105 films) generally corresponded with the person ...

70. Georges Géret

Actor | Z

Georges Géret was born on October 18, 1924 in Lyon, Rhône, France. He was an actor, known for Z (1969), Diary of a Chambermaid (1964) and Trap for the Assassin (1966). He died on April 8, 1996 in Paris, France.

71. Rellys

Actor | Feu Nicolas

Rellys was born on December 12, 1905 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France as Henri Marius Bourrelly. He was an actor, known for Feu Nicolas (1943), Les trois cousines (1947) and Les aventures des Pieds-Nickelés (1948). He died on July 20, 1991 in Marseille.

72. Henri Vilbert

Actor | Le bon Dieu sans confession

Henri Vilbert was born on April 6, 1904 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France as Henri Miquely. He was an actor, known for Le bon Dieu sans confession (1953), Madame Bovary (1934) and La Prison De Saint-Clothaire (1934). He died on April 20, 1997 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

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