Famous French Actors/Actresses & Directors

by BalloonCinema | created - 5 months ago | updated - 5 months ago | Public

1. 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 (1995), the young actor, ...

2. 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. ...

3. 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 ...

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. 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 ...

6. 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 Le placard (2001). He has been married to Aude Ambroggi since July 22, 2006. They have one child. He was previously married to Emmanuelle ...

7. Louis de Funès

Actor | L'aile ou la cuisse

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...

8. 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...

9. 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 ...

10. Jean Dujardin

Actor | The Artist

In 1995 he began his first one man show, the same year he met Bruno Salomone, Eric Collado, Emmanuel Joucla and Eric Massot with whom he created the "Nous C nous". In 1999, he became "Loulou" in Un gars, une fille (1999). This part permitted him to show his talent to a larger public. Since the end ...

11. Gaspard Ulliel

Actor | Un long dimanche de fiançailles

Gaspard Ulliel's dream has always been to direct a movie, and after completing his studies at the lycée (French high school), he majored in cinema at the University of Saint-Denis. However, fate had other plans, and he is currently pursuing an acting career. It began when Ulliel was 12 years old ...

12. 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 À l'origine (2009).

13. 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&...

14. Guillaume Canet

Actor | Jeux d'enfants

Son of horse breeders, the young man spent his childhood in the countryside near Paris. In his youth, Guillaume wanted to be a horse-rider, and briefly followed a professional career in the sport. A bad fall broke his dreams, but is at the origin of his acting career, and success. After briefly ...

15. Omar Sy

Actor | Intouchables

Omar Sy was born on January 20, 1978 in Trappes, Yvelines, France. He is an actor and writer, known for The Intouchables (2011), Jurassic World (2015) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). He has been married to Hélène since July 6, 2007. They have four children.

16. Sophie Marceau

Actress | La boum

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 ...

17. Audrey Tautou

Actress | Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

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...

18. Juliette Binoche

Actress | The English Patient

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...

19. Brigitte Bardot

Actress | Et Dieu... créa la femme

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 ...

20. Isabelle Huppert

Actress | 8 femmes

Isabelle Huppert was born March 16, 1953, in Paris, France, but spent her childhood in Ville d'Avray. Encouraged by her mother Annick Huppert (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...

21. Eva Green

Actress | Casino Royale

French actress and model Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar (1966). Her mother, Marlène Jobert, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of ...

22. Laetitia Casta

Actress | Arbitrage

Born in Pont-Audemer, France, Laetitia Casta spent her childhood in the lush countryside of Normandy. At age 15, she was approached by an agent of Paris' Madison Models while building sand castles on a beach in Corsica. After her father agreed to let the agency take some test photographs, ...

23. Sophie Marceau

Actress | La boum

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 ...

24. Marion Cotillard

Actress | La môme

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.

Raised in Orléans, France, she made her ...

25. Mélanie Laurent

Actress | Inglourious Basterds

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 (1989). She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from ...

26. Léa Seydoux

Actress | La vie d'Adèle

French actress Léa Seydoux was born in 1985 in Paris, France, to Valérie Schlumberger, a philanthropist, and Henri Seydoux, a businessman. Her grandfather, Jérôme Seydoux, is chairman of Pathé, and her father is a great-grandson of businessman and inventor Marcel Schlumberger (her mother also ...

27. Emmanuelle Béart

Actress | 8 femmes

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. ...

28. Elodie Yung

Actress | The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Elodie Yung was born in Paris, France, of Cambodian and French descent. She grew up in Seine-saint-Denis, in Le Bourget, where she practiced karate and obtained her black belt. She graduated from University of La Sorbonne in Paris and has a law degree. She then decided to study acting at London ...

29. Bérénice Marlohe

Actress | Skyfall

French actress Bérénice Marlohe first came to international attention when she was cast as the glamorous and enigmatic Severin in the twenty-third Bond film Skyfall (2012), alongside Daniel Craig which grossed over 1.11 billion dollars worldwide. Marlohe will continue to expand her presence in the ...

30. Adèle Exarchopoulos

Actress | La vie d'Adèle

Adèle Exarchopoulos is a French actress with partially Greek roots (her grandfather was Greek). She was born in Paris, France. Her mother, Marina (Niquet), is a nurse, and her father, Didier Exarchopoulos, is a guitarist. At the age of 9 she started acting and watching movies. As she said on the ...

31. Carole Bouquet

Actress | For Your Eyes Only

Carole Bouquet was born on August 18, 1957 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France. She is an actress and director, known for For Your Eyes Only (1981), Wasabi (2001) and Too Beautiful for You (1989). She was previously married to Jacques Liebowitch.

32. Vanessa Paradis

Actress | La fille sur le pont

Vanessa Paradis is a renowned French actress, model and singer born in 1972. She started her career as a model and singer before becoming a movie star. Her song "Joe Le Taxi" brought her success in 15 countries at the age of 14. Later, in 1990, she was awarded a 'César' (French equivalent of Oscar)...

33. Catherine Deneuve

Actress | 8 femmes

Catherine Deneuve was born October 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Le vice et la vertu (1963). But her breakthrough came with ...

34. Bérénice Bejo

Actress | The Artist

Actress Bérénice Bejo was born in Buenos Aires, the daughter of Silvia De Paoli, a lawyer, and Miguel Bejo, a filmmaker. When she was three, Bejo's family relocated to Paris, France. She embarked on a successful acting career in the 1990s, with various roles in French television and film ...

35. Charlotte Gainsbourg

Actress | Antichrist

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 ...

36. Clémence Poésy

Actress | In Bruges

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",...

37. Mélanie Thierry

Actress | The Zero Theorem

Mélanie Thierry was born on July 17, 1981 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, France. She is an actress, known for The Zero Theorem (2013), Babylon A.D. (2008) and The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (2008).

38. Virginie Ledoyen

Actress | 8 femmes

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 (1986)....

39. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey

Actress | I Origins

Astrid Bergès-Frisbey was born in Barcelona, Spain. Her father is Spanish, and her mother, who is American, is of English and French descent. She is fluent in French, Castilian (commonly called Spanish), and Catalan. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey made her acting debut in 2007 on French television. In 2008,...

40. Gaia Weiss

Actress | The Legend of Hercules

Gaia Weiss was born on August 30, 1991 in Paris, France. She is an actress, known for The Legend of Hercules (2014), Vikings (2013) and Overdrive (2017).

41. Pom Klementieff

Actress | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Pom Klementieff was born on May 3, 1986 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. She is an actress, known for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Old Boy (2013) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

42. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Director | Un long dimanche de fiançailles

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a self-taught director who was very quickly interested by cinema, with a predilection for a fantastic cinema where form is as important as the subject. Thus he started directing TV commercials and video clips (such as Julien Clerc in 1984). At the same time he met designer/...

43. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | À bout de souffle

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

44. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

45. Luc Besson

Writer | Le cinquième élément

Luc Besson spent the first years of his life following his parents, scuba diving instructors, around the world. His early life was entirely aquatic. He already showed amazing creativity as a youth, writing early drafts of The Big Blue (1988) and The Fifth Element (1997), as an adolescent bored in ...

46. Jean-Jacques Annaud

Director | Der Name der Rose

Jean-Jacques Annaud is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for directing Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and Le dernier loup (2015). Annaud has received numerous awards for his work, including four César ...

47. François Ozon

Director | Dans la maison

François Ozon was born on November 15, 1967 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for Dans la maison (2012), 8 femmes (2002) and Young & Beautiful (2013).

48. Michel Gondry

Director | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

He grew up in Versailles with a family who was very influenced by pop music. When he was young, Gondry wanted to be a painter or an inventor. In the 80s he entered in an art school in Paris where he could develop his graphic skills and where he also met friends with whom he created a pop-rock band ...