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Top 50 Most Popular French Actors Of All Time

Shivam ParasharShivam-Posted July 3, 2022


Top Most Popular French Actors Of All Time!

 

Ever since the inception of movies, France has produced some of the finest actors to have ever graced the silver screen.

 

As a matter of fact, some of the best-known French celebrities have been seen rocking the screens quite frequently in Hollywood over the years as well.

 

The following French actors, whom we are going to be mentioning on our list today, have cemented their respective places in the annals of cinematic history; courtesy of their unmatched class and the diverse range of their respective filmographies.

 

Needless to say, they have participated in some incredible feature films that are popular not only in their home country but also worldwide.

 

Moreover, the unquestionable rise of streaming platforms has gone on to promote the viewing of foreign language films as well.

 

So, besides South Korean entertainment, French cinema is one such industry that film buffs across the globe have tried to get familiar with.

 

It is not surprising then that millions of viewers have found themselves falling prey to the natural charisma of French movie stars, both male and female.

 

Therefore, if you are true-blue cinephiles who are looking to expand their knowledge of French cinema, then these are some of the most remarkable performers you should be looking forward to watching.

 

 

50. Jean-Hugues Anglade

 

Jean-Hugues Anglade

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth July 29, 1955
Place of Birth Thouars, Deux-Sèvres, France
Height 172 centimeters
Debut Year 1977
Debut Television Film Un comique né

 

Frequently cast in Luc Besson's films, Jean-Hugues Anglade is an actor, film director, and screenwriter who appeared in a few television movies before making his presence felt in full-length motion pictures.

 

The actor is best known for playing the roles of Eric in Killing Zoe, Zorg in Betty Blue, and Marco, the boyfriend of Nikita in Nikita, respectively.

 

Even though not extensively, Anglade is also known to have performed on the stage.

 

 

49. Raphaël Personnaz

 

Raphaël Personnaz

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth July 23, 1981
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 179 centimeters
Debut Year 1998
Debut TV Show An Angry Man

 

Ever since the beginning of his acting career in 1998, Raphaël Personnaz has made his presence felt in over 50 motion pictures.

 

A recipient of the Prix Patrick Dewaere, the actor was first seen in the French television series, titled Un homme en colère ('An Angry Man' in English).

 

The actor has also been seen in an English-language film called Anna Karenina in which he starred alongside Jude Law and Keira Knightley.

 

 

48. Jacques Gamblin

 

Jacques Gamblin

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth November 16, 1957
Place of Birth Granville, Manche, France
Height N/A
Debut Year 1985
Debut Film Hell Train

 

Jacques Gamblin, who made his feature film debut in 1985's Hell Train, studied at the Centre dramatique de Caen (Caen Dramatic Arts Centre).

 

He did not initially think of taking up acting as a career. However, since he was working as a professional technician in a theater company, he developed an interest in acting.

 

After having done a fair bit of theater, he was keen on choosing his roles carefully and, consequently, made his big-screen debut in 1985.

 

 

47. Melvil Poupaud

 

Melvil Poupaud

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 26, 1973
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 183 centimeters
Debut Year 1983
Debut Film City of Pirates

 

This actor, author, and filmmaker first made his appearance on the screen as a child actor in the 1983 motion picture, titled City of Pirates.

 

The actor, who grew up in a family that had close ties with the cinema world, has also been close to figures of the Parisian intelligentsia.

 

He could be seen in films such as A Summer's Tale, A Christmas Tale, The Refuge, and Laurence Anyways, to name a few.

 

 

46. Nicolas Cazalé

 

Nicolas Cazalé

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth April 24, 1977
Place of Birth Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
Height N/A
Debut Year 2000
Debut TV Show Louis Page

 

Nicolas Cazalé, who made his acting debut on the television show Louis Page in 2000, is a French model and actor who is best known for his role in the 2004 French film, Le Grand Voyage.

 

For his performance in the aforementioned feature, he won a well-deserved Jury Award for Best Actor at the 2005 Newport International Film Festival.

 

Cazalé, who has been called one of European cinema's up-and-coming talents, was the recipient of the Shooting Stars Award in 2008.

 

 

45. Hugo Becker

 

Hugo Becker

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 13, 1987
Place of Birth Metz, Moselle, Lorraine, France
Height 178 centimeters
Debut Year 2010
Debut Film The Assault

 

Hugo Becker is a relatively new performer to make it to our list. The actor, who made his acting debut with The Assault in 2010, speaks French, English, and Spanish fluently.

 

He is best known for playing a role in the popular American series Gossip Girl and the French thriller series Chefs.

 

Becker was also seen playing a key role in the American motion picture, titled Damsels in Distress. The film was selected to be screened at the Toronto Film Festival.

 

 

44. Michael Lonsdale

 

Michael Lonsdale

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 24, 1931
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 186 centimeters
Debut Year 1956
Debut Film It Happened in Aden

 

Michael Edward Lonsdale-Crouch, who was known in his professional space as Michael Lonsdale, had been a consistent screen performer ever since he made his debut in the 1956 feature film It Happened in Aden.

 

Also an author, the performer appeared in over 180 motion pictures and television shows throughout his solid career. The English-speaking world knows him better for his character projection in movies such as Moonraker, The Day of the Jackal, The Name of the Rose, and The Remains of the Day.

 

 

43. Richard Bohringer

 

Richard Bohringer

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 16, 1942
Place of Birth Moulins, Allier, France
Height 175 centimeters
Debut Year 1960
Debut Film Les frangines

 

Richard Bohringer, who has been active in the movies since the onset of the 1960s, has had a rich cinematic career.

 

However, besides being a mainstream actor, Bohringer is also a musician, writer, and poet. Not only that but the actor is known to have produced and directed several motion pictures as well.

 

When it comes to acting, he has been a recipient of the César Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 and the César Award for Best Actor in 1988.

 

 

42. Jean-Pierre Cassel

 

Jean-Pierre Cassel

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth October 27, 1932
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 183 centimeters
Debut Year 1950
Debut Film Pigalle-Saint-Germain-des-Prés

 

Jean-Pierre Cassel, who was born Jean-Pierre Crochon, had been an active screen performer ever since the beginning of the 1950s.

 

The actor rose to prominence in the late 1950s as a hero in mainstream comedy features. He is known to have worked in acclaimed motion pictures with prominent film directors such as Luis Buñuel, Sidney Lumet, and Claude Chabrol during the 1960s and 1970s.

 

Cassel can be seen in projects such as The Breach, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and Murder on the Orient Express.

 

 

41. Albert Dupontel

 

Albert Dupontel

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 11, 1964
Place of Birth Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, France
Height 177 centimeters
Debut Year 1988
Debut Film Once More

 

Albert Dupontel had initially started studying medicine but, much like his beloved father, he decided to eventually switch to the theater.

 

The actor, who was first seen playing a part in the 1988 feature film Once More, started his career as a stand-up comedian.

 

His 1996 movie, titled Bernie, took the Grand Prize at the 9th Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. Dupontel not only wrote and directed the project but he also starred in it.

 

 

40. Gérard Lanvin

 

Gérard Lanvin

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth June 21, 1950
Place of Birth Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 175 centimeters
Debut Year 1976
Debut Film The Wing or The Thigh?

 

Gérard Lanvin is a French actor and singer who was first seen playing a minor character in the 1976 film The Wing or The Thigh?.

 

However, his first major role in cinema came in the cult film, titled You will not have Alsace and Lorraine, in 1977.

 

This César Award-winning French actor decided to discontinue his studies when he was 17 to become an actor. Lanvin also earned the Prix Jean Gabin in 1982 for his role in Une étrange affaire.

 

 

39. Gérard Jugnot

 

Gérard Jugnot

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 4, 1951
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 169 centimeters
Debut Year 1973
Debut Film The Year 01

 

One of the founding members of the comedy troupe Le Splendid in the 1970s, Gérard Jugnot had initially started his acting career by playing minor roles in movies.

 

The group and its members gained prominence after they were able to successfully adapt several of their stage hits for cinema.

 

Jugnot, who was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur in 2004, gained international fame for his lead role in the musical drama film Les Choristes.

 

 

38. Vincent Lindon

 

Vincent Lindon

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth July 15, 1959
Place of Birth Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 181 centimeters
Debut Year 1982
Debut Film Guy de Maupassant

 

Vincent Alfred Fernand Lindon, who is better known within the French cinematic universe as Vincent Lindon, made his feature film debut by playing an uncredited role in 1982's Guy de Maupassant.

 

His role in the feature film The Measure of a Man won him the Best Actor at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Best Actor at the 41st César Awards, and the IFFI Best Actor Award (Male) at the 46th International Film Festival of India, respectively.

 

Lindon was appointed the president of the jury for the main competition section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

 

 

37. Fernandel

 

Fernandel

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 8, 1903
Place of Birth Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
Height 169 centimeters
Debut Year 1931
Debut Film Black and White

 

Fernand Joseph Désiré Contandin, who was known popularly by his stage name Fernandel, was an actor and singer who made his feature film debut in 1931's Black and White.

 

His stage name originated from the fact that he was truly attentive to his wife Henriette Manse. This made his mother-in-law lovingly refer to him as Fernand d'elle ("Fernand of her").

 

Fernandel amused the audience with his remarkable comic timing and screen presence for over four decades.

 

 

36. Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli

 

Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth December 27, 1925
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 182 centimeters
Debut Year 1945
Debut Film Sortilèges

 

Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli, who was known professionally as Michel Piccoli, was a star character actor who was seen in a ton of motion pictures throughout his 70 year-long screen career.

 

Often lauded as one of the greatest character actors in French cinema history, Piccoli is known to have worked with some of the finest film directors of his time.

 

He has been awarded the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival, respectively.

 

 

35. Mathieu Kassovitz

 

Mathieu Kassovitz

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth August 3, 1967
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 174 centimeters
Debut Year 1978
Debut TV Show Médecins de nuit

 

Founder of MNP Entreprise, Mathieu Kassovitz is yet another multi-talented personality to make it to our list. Not only has he been a successful actor but he is also a film director, film producer, and screenwriter.

 

While he has been nominated for his acting, he is one of the few actors who has also received nominations for his direction and writing.

 

Kassovitz, who has helmed several artistic and commercial successes, is best known for playing the role of Nino Quincampoix in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amélie.

 

 

34. Jamel Debbouze

 

Jamel Debbouze

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth June 18, 1975
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 165 centimeters
Debut Year 1996
Debut Film Two Dads and One Mom

 

Aside from being an actor, Jamel Debbouze is also a comedian, screenwriter, film producer, and director. Even though he is best known for his stand-up comedy sketches, he has also worked with director Alain Chabat in several films.

 

In addition, Debbouze has collaborated with other French humorists as well. That said, he is known to have starred in a number of box-office successes such as Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra and Amélie as well.

 

 

33. Gilles Marini

 

Gilles Marini

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 26, 1976
Place of Birth Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Height 183 centimeters
Debut Year 2004
Debut Film The O.C.

 

This French actor was able to successfully make his presence felt in quite a few well-known American shows. Best known for his character projection in the feature film Sex and the City, he can be seen in television shows such as Brothers & Sisters, Switched at Birth, Ugly Betty, and Devious Maids, to name a few.

 

Gilles Marini is also known to have featured as the French co-host on the Netflix show Ultimate Beastmaster.

 

 

32. Louis Garrel

 

Louis Garrel

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth June 14, 1983
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 183 centimeters
Debut Year 1989
Debut Film Emergency Kisses

 

Louis Garrel, who is best known for his starring role in The Dreamers, made his feature film debut with Emergency Kisses in 1989.

 

An actor and filmmaker, he is mostly seen playing either prominent historical characters or someone who is caught up in a love triangle of sorts on celluloid.

 

Garrel is known to have collaborated with directors such as Christophe Honoré and Philippe Garrel (his father) on numerous occasions.

 

He has also starred in two movies directed by himself.

 

 

31. Olivier Martinez

 

Olivier Martinez

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 12, 1966
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 178 centimeters
Debut Year 1990
Debut TV Show Navarro

 

Olivier Martinez shot to fame after playing a significant role in the feature film Un, deux, trois, soleil, which fetched him the César Award for Most Promising Actor.

 

He continued to mesmerize the audience with his performance in motion pictures such as The Horseman on the Roof and The Chambermaid on the Titanic.

 

The actor was also seen in Hollywood productions such as Before Night Falls, Unfaithful, S. W. A. T., and Taking Lives, to name a few.

 

 

30. Jean-Pierre Marielle

 

Jean-Pierre Marielle

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth April 12, 1932
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 188 centimeters
Debut Year 1957
Debut Film Le grand bluff

 

Jean-Pierre Marielle, who had been active in the movies since the second half of the 1950s, was known to have played diverse roles on the big screen.

 

Courtesy of his cavernous voice and gentlemanly appearance, the actor was considered to be archetypical of the French gentleman by several humorists.

 

Marielle shot to fame in the true sense of the word and proved his acting caliber to the viewers during the 1970s.

 

He was an excellent performer on the stage as well and received the highest honor bestowed upon a stage artist in France.

 

 

29. Christian Jean-Marie Clavier

 

Christian Jean-Marie Clavier

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 6, 1952
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 168 centimeters
Debut Year 1973
Debut Film The Year 01

 

Aside from being a mainstream screen performer, Christian Clavier is also a screenwriter, film producer, and director. The actor is best known for starring in two hit comedy series: Patrice Leconte's Les Bronzés and Les Visiteurs directed by Jean-Marie Poiré.

 

Clavier started participating in tent-pole movies after the massive success of the 1993 feature film les Visiteurs. His character's cry of "Okkkayyy!!" became so popular that people were seen copying it back in the day.

 

 

28. Pierre Richard

 

Pierre Richard

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth August 16, 1934
Place of Birth Valenciennes, Nord, France
Height 178 centimeters
Debut Year 1958
Debut Film Montparnasse 19

 

Pierre-Richard Maurice Charles Léopold Defays, who is known professionally as Pierre Richard, is an actor, film director, and screenwriter who made a name for himself by playing the role of a clumsy daydreamer in most of his comedy flicks.

 

Also a competent singer, Richard is considered by several great performers in France to be among the finest comedians to have ever graced the screen.

 

He is known to have played different characters with the same name several times on celluloid.

 

 

27. Philippe Noiret

 

Philippe Noiret

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth October 1, 1930
Place of Birth Lille, Nord, France
Height 185 centimeters
Debut Year 1949
Debut Film Gigi

 

Philippe Noiret may have started playing uncredited roles at the beginning of his career but he turned out to be one of the most familiar French screen faces of all time.

 

Even though he was mostly seen playing ordinary and humble characters that the common man could relate to, he did not hesitate in portraying controversial characters as well.

 

Noiret had also appeared in quite a few Hollywood-financed films that were sponsored by some well-known names in the American film industry.

 

 

26. Thierry Lhermitte

 

Thierry Lhermitte

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth November 24, 1952
Place of Birth Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 184 centimeters
Debut Year 1973
Debut Film The Year 01

 

This French actor is a multi-talented individual. We say so because not only has he proven himself as a screen actor but he has also charmed the French audience as a director, writer, and producer.

 

Best known for his comedic roles, he was a founder of the comedy troupe Le Splendid in the 1970s along with a few other individuals.

 

Thierry Lhermitte is known to have participated in some of France's most outrageous motion pictures throughout the course of his prolific career.

 

 

25. Daniel Auteuil

 

Daniel Auteuil

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 24, 1950
Place of Birth Algiers, Alger, France [now Algeria]
Height 170 centimeters
Debut Year 1973
Debut Film The Year 01

 

Daniel Auteuil had started making his presence felt within the entertainment industry in the first half of the 1970s.

 

The actor, who also happens to be a filmmaker, has played roles in a wide range of film genres.

 

Not only can he be seen in period dramas but he has also proven his mettle as a performer in romantic comedies and crime thrillers.

 

Auteuil had won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival together with Belgian actor Pascal Duquenne. He has also been a recipient of two César Awards for Best Actor.

 

 

24. Christopher Lambert

 

Christopher Lambert

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth March 29, 1957
Place of Birth Great Neck, New York, United States of America
Height 178 centimeters
Debut Year 1979
Debut Film Ciao, les mecs

 

Christophe Guy Denis Lambert, who is popularly known as Christopher Lambert, is a French-American actor who can be seen in a number of popular mainstream projects.

 

Even though he started playing supporting characters initially, he gained global recognition after having starred in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.

 

For his outstanding performance in Subway, he received the César Award for Best Actor. That being said, Lambert's most popular character projection came in Highlander and the subsequent film franchise of the same name.

 

 

23. Lambert Wilson

 

Lambert Wilson

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth August 3, 1958
Place of Birth Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 188 centimeters
Debut Year 1977
Debut Film Julia

 

As popular as Lambert Wilson is among the French audience, he has always strived to become a successful name in Hollywood.

 

Needless to say, he paved his pay quite remarkably. Five years after playing his first role on-screen, one could see him performing alongside Hollywood great Sean Connery in Five Days One Summer.

 

Even though the motion picture was soon forgotten, Lambert managed to catch the attention of many. While The Public Woman and Rendez-vous are among his most popular French features, he is best known for playing the character of The Merovingian in The Matrix series of motion pictures.

 

Aside from acting, the actor also happens to be a competent singer. He had even released an album called Musicals in 1989.

 

 

22. Mathieu Amalric

 

Mathieu Amalric

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth October 25, 1965
Place of Birth Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 168 centimeters
Debut Year 1984
Debut Film Favourites of the Moon

 

Mathieu Amalric, who was first seen making an appearance in the 1984 feature film Favourites of the Moon, is an actor and filmmaker who has appeared in quite a few noteworthy international projects.

 

He is best known for his work in motion pictures such as Quantum of Solace, Munich, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, to mention a few.

 

Amalric has been a recipient of several César Awards and the Lumières Award.

 

 

21. Gaspard Thomas Ulliel

 

Gaspard Thomas Ulliel

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth November 25, 1984
Place of Birth Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 177 centimeters
Debut Year 1997
Debut TV Show Mission protection rapprochée

 

Gaspard Thomas Ulliel was the face of Chanel's men's fragrance Bleu de Chanel for twelve successful years. The actor, who was best known for starring in feature films such as Hannibal Rising and Saint Laurent, is also known to have lent his voice to the character of Jack Frost in the French version of Rise of the Guardians.

 

Having said that, one can also find him playing the character of Anton Mogart in the Disney+ miniseries Moon Knight.

 

The actor had won the César Award for Best Actor for his stunning performance in It's Only the End of the World in 2017.

 

A couple of years before his win, Ulliel had also become a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.

 

 

20. Charles Boyer

 

Charles Boyer

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth August 28, 1899
Place of Birth Figeac, Lot, France
Height 175 centimeters
Debut Year 1920
Debut Film L'homme du large

 

Charles Boyer is a French-American actor who, after having gotten an education in drama, started performing on the stage.

 

While he made his French film debut in 1920, he found further fame after having worked in several American motion pictures during the 1930s.

 

Some of his most remarkable character portrayals came in movies such as Garden of Allah, Algiers, Love Affair, and Gaslight, to mention a few.

 

The acclaimed actor was nominated for four Academy Awards during the course of his career.

 

 

19. Jean Rochefort

 

Jean Rochefort

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth April 29, 1930
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 181 centimeters
Debut Year 1956
Debut Film Meeting in Paris

 

Jean Raoul Robert Rochefort, who was known professionally as Jean Rochefort, was a prominent name in French cinema during the late 50s and 60s.

 

A versatile performer who could play both comedic and dramatic roles with great efficiency, he had been a recipient of three César Awards.

 

In a screen career that spanned nearly six decades, the man acted in over 100 feature films. Even though he had started trying himself at dramas as a teenager, his career had to take a break when he served in the military.

 

However, after he returned, there was no stopping Rochefort as he featured in one box office hit after another.

 

 

18. François Cluzet

 

François Cluzet

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth September 21, 1955
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 174 centimeters
Debut Year 1977
Debut TV Show Au théâtre ce soir

 

François Cluzet, who has been both a film and theater actor, has had the privilege of working with several significant European and American directors throughout his career.

 

Best known to contemporary cinema buffs across the world for his outstanding role in The Intouchables, he won a French César Award for playing a doctor in a thriller, titled Tell No One, in 2007.

 

As of March 2012, The Intouchables was the highest-grossing non-English language film released (inflation not adjusted).

 

 

17. Gérard Philipe

 

Gérard Philipe

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth December 4, 1922
Place of Birth Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Height 183 centimeters
Debut Year 1944
Debut Film Les Petites du quai aux fleurs

 

Gérard Philipe was one of the most well-known screen performers during the post-war era in France. Even though he did not participate in a lot of motion pictures throughout his career, his contribution to French cinema between 1944 to 1959 remains indisputable.

 

Unfortunately, the actor met with his untimely death in 1959. However, his image has forever remained youthful and romantic to the public of France.

 

Needless to mention, Philipe's admirers continue to hold him in good stead.

 

 

16. Yves Montand

 

Yves Montand

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth October 13, 1921
Place of Birth Monsummano Terme, Tuscany, Italy
Height 185 centimeters
Debut Year 1941
Debut Film La prière aux étoiles

 

Ivo Livi, who was known in his professional space as Yves Montand, was an actor and singer who had been performing since the beginning of the 1940s.

 

While he continued to gain recognition as a mainstream actor, his songs, especially those about Paris, became instant classics at the time.

 

The actor, who was also seen in American features, was nominated for a César Award for Best Actor twice during the course of his career.

 

 

15. Jean Marais

 

Jean Marais

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth December 11, 1913
Place of Birth Cherbourg, Manche, France
Height 180 centimeters
Debut Year 1933
Debut Film Song of the Streets

 

Jean-Alfred Villain-Marais, who was known professionally as Jean Marais, was first seen playing an uncredited role in the 1933 feature Song of the Streets.

 

What was interesting about this man was that apart from being an actor, he was also a film director, theatre director, painter, sculptor, visual artist, writer, and photographer.

 

He participated in over 100 feature films and was, therefore, awarded the French Legion of Honor for his contributions to French Cinema.

 

 

14. Tahar Rahim

 

Tahar Rahim

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth July 4, 1981
Place of Birth Belfort, Territoire de Belfort, France
Height 171 centimeters
Debut Year 2006
Debut Film The 9/11 Commission Report

 

Tahar Rahim may have started his career by playing minor roles but he has successfully gone on to establish himself as one of the most popular French actors known to the cinematic world today.

 

He is best known for participating in acclaimed projects such as A Prophet, The Looming Tower, Mary Magdalene, and The Serpent, to mention a few.

 

It would be safe to say that Tahar Rahim, who has already had a substantial career so far, is going to cement his place as one of the better French screen actors of all time in the years to come.

 

 

13. Jean Gabin

 

Jean Gabin

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 17, 1904
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 174 centimeters
Debut Year 1930
Debut Film Chacun sa chance

 

Jean Gabin Alexis Moncorgé, who is professionally known as Jean Gabin, had been working in the French film industry ever since the inception of the 1930s.

 

A key figure in French cinema, he had twice won both the Silver Bear for Best Actor from the Berlin International Film Festival and the Volpi Cup for Best Actor from the Venice Film Festival respectively.

 

He was recognized for the influential role that he played in the evolution of French cinema and was, therefore, made a member of the Légion d'honneur.

 

 

12. Guillaume Canet

 

Guillaume Canet

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth April 10, 1973
Place of Birth Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 178 centimeters
Debut Year 1993
Debut TV Show Premiers baisers

 

Guillaume Canet, who was first seen in the television show Premiers baisers in 1993, is an actor, film director, screenwriter, and show jumper.

 

Canet had started his career as an actor in theatre and television before making the much-awaited transition to films.

 

He could be seen playing a significant role in motion pictures such as Joyeux Noël, Love Me If You Dare, and The Beach, to name a few.

 

However, it was in 2006 that Canet decided to devote a fair amount of time to writing and directing as well.

 

For the movie Tell No One, he even ended up winning a César Award for Best Director.

 

 

11. Fabrice Luchini

 

Fabrice Luchini

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth November 1, 1951
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 173 centimeters
Debut Year 1969
Debut Film Tout peut arriver

 

Fabrice Luchini, who was born Robert Luchini, has been making his presence felt in the movies since the late 1960s.

 

Best known for his performance in feature films such as Potiche, The Women on the 6th Floor, and In the House, Luchini had received the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival for his performance in the 2015 project, titled Courted.

 

Even though he had a successful film career, he always considered theater to be his first love.

 

 

10. Omar Sy

 

Omar Sy

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth January 20, 1978
Place of Birth Trappes, Yvelines, France
Height 190 centimeters
Debut Year 2000
Debut TV Show La cape et l'épée

 

Omar Sy may have recently been seen playing the lead role in the hit Netflix series Lupin, but he has been an active performer ever since the beginning of the 21st century.

 

The actor, who got to play his first major screen role in the movie Those Happy Days, had his big break in the critically acclaimed 2011 feature film, titled The Intouchables.

 

For his performance in The Intouchables, Omar Sy went on to become the first black actor in France to win the César Award for Best Actor.

 

The actor soon started making a name for himself by appearing in Hollywood projects such as X-Men, Jurassic World, and Inferno, to name a few.

 

Be that as it may, Sy continued to play significant roles in French motion pictures while attempting to strike a chord with the American audience.

 

 

9. Romain Duris

 

Romain Duris

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth May 28, 1974
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 173 centimeters
Debut Year 1994
Debut Film Le péril jeune

 

Romain Duris, who has been acting since the first half of the 1990s, is one of the better-known French actors today.

 

Even though he had a great interest in music and had constituted a band of his own, it was his cinematic endeavors that fetched him name and fame over the years.

 

Duris is best known for playing the character of a French exchange student in the popular Spanish Apartment Trilogy.

 

That being said, Duris is known to have played both gangsters and romantic heroes in his movies, putting his versatility on display.

 

 

8. Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant

 

Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth December 11, 1930
Place of Birth Piolenc, Vaucluse, France
Height 172 centimeters
Debut Year 1955
Debut Film If All the Guys in the World

 

One of the most gifted French dramatic actors of the post-war era, Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant had been a part of several classic motion pictures throughout his career.

 

Often seen playing thoughtful characters whose ideals and morals are severely tested, the actor had won quite a few Best Actor awards during the course of his iconic screen career.

 

One of his last great movies was Amour. Not only was it screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, it even won the Palme d'Or there.

 

Better still, it earned the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

 

 

7. Louis de Funès

 

Louis de Funès

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth July 31, 1914
Place of Birth Courbevoie, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France
Height 162 centimeters
Debut Year 1946
Debut Film The Temptation of Barbizon

 

Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza, who was professionally known as Louis de Funès, was one of France's most-loved performers to have ever graced the screen.

 

Popular for his energy and mannerisms, the actor had been a part of over 150 projects throughout his career.

 

The French actor was well-known in German-speaking countries, Italy, Greece, Spain, Mauritius, and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, respectively.

 

However, the English-speaking world has not been able to be as familiar with his work as the aforementioned nations.

 

 

6. Jean-Paul Charles Belmondo

 

Jean-Paul Charles Belmondo

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth April 9, 1933
Place of Birth Neuilly-sur-Seine, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France], France
Height 177 centimeters
Debut Year 1957
Debut Film À pied, à cheval et en voiture

 

Jean-Paul Charles Belmondo was an actor and producer who became a major film star from 1960 onwards. The actor, who was best known for portraying police officers in mainstream action thrillers, can be seen delivering good performances in motion pictures such as Breathless, That Man from Rio, Pierrot le Fou, Borsalino, and The Professional, to mention a few.

 

Even though Belmondo was heavily courted by Hollywood, he was not too willing to participate in English feature films.

 

He won the César Award for Best Actor in 1989 for his performance in Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté.

 

 

5. Jean Reno

 

Jean Reno

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth July 30, 1948
Place of Birth Casablanca, French Protectorate of Morocco
Height 187 centimeters
Debut Year 1974
Debut TV Show One Mystery a Day

 

Juan Moreno y Herrera–Jiménez, who is known to the cinematic universe as Jean Reno, made his acting debut by playing a minor role in the television show One Mystery a Day.

 

He is one of the few actors who has been able to make his undeniable presence felt in well-known American, French, English, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian movie productions.

 

His performance in popular movies such as Léon: The Professional, Godzilla, Mission: Impossible, The Pink Panther, and Crimson Rivers brought him international acclaim.

 

 

4. Jean Dujardin

 

Jean Dujardin

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth June 19, 1972
Place of Birth Rueil-Malmaison, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Height 182 centimeters
Debut Year 1999
Debut TV Show Un gars, une fille

 

Jean Dujardin, who started his career by performing regularly in bars and small theatres, appeared in his first notable television project, Un gars, une fille, in 1999.

 

The success of the aforementioned show led him to participate in a big-screen comedy like Marriages!. Soon enough, the actor gained further fame after playing a role in the box office blockbuster Brice de Nice.

 

Furthermore, he earned a fair bit of acclaim for his performance in the OSS 117 films. While his versatility was on full display in features such as Counter Investigation, Lucky Luke, Little White Lies, and 99 Francs, it was his role in The Artist that turned out to be a game-changer for him.

 

For his performance in the same, Jean Dujardin won a ton of awards and became the very first Frenchman to win the Oscar for Best Actor.

 

It is not surprising then that he was soon seen in American movies and television shows such as The Wolf of Wall Street, The Monuments Men, and Call My Agent!

 

 

3. Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon

 

Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth November 8, 1935
Place of Birth Sceaux, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], Île-de-France, France
Height 177 centimeters
Debut Year 1957
Debut Film Send a Woman When the Devil Fails

 

Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon, who is popularly known as Alain Delon, enlisted in the navy at the age of 17.

 

He served in French Indochina until the end of the war. However, after he returned to Paris, his well-built physique and impressive good looks provided him with an opportunity to get into the movies.

 

Later, after he became an actor, Delon fell in love with actress Romy Schneider and the couple was described as "the fiancés of Europe" during their initial years together.

 

The 1960s saw him partaking in several box office hits. Later, in 1985, he won a well-deserved and long-due César Award for Best Actor.

 

Alain Delon, who received the Palme d’Honneur Prize at the Cannes Film Festival during the 2010s, continues to be admired by fans who grew up and old watching him perform.

 

 

2. Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu, CQ

 

Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu, CQ

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth December 27, 1948
Place of Birth Châteauroux, Indre, France
Height 178 centimeters
Debut Year 1970
Debut Television Film Tango

 

Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu, who is known professionally as Gérard Depardieu, first came to public attention in the 1974 film Going Places.

 

After his performance in the project, it became clear that French arthouse filmmakers wanted more of him. The actor went on to win his maiden César for his character projection in François Truffaut’s The Last Metro in 1981.

 

Following his stint on the feature, he developed a liking for historical roles. Needless to say, one could find him playing a part in projects such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Danton, Camille Claudel, and 1942: Conquest of Paradise, to name a few.

 

Depardieu, who is also known for his love for food and drinking, has exhibited his range as a performer by playing both comedic and dramatic roles.

 

The actor is known to own vineyards in Italy and restaurants and hotels all over France. That being said, he continues to perform in theatres and write and shoot movies.

 

 

1. Vincent Cassel

 

Vincent Cassel

 

Entity Detail
Date of Birth November 23, 1966
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 187 centimeters
Debut Year 1989
Debut Film Les cigognes n'en font qu'à leur tête

 

Vincent Cassel is an actor who has been fascinated by the world of art ever since he was very young.

 

Coming from a family of artists, he first gained prominence after having earned him two César nominations for his stupendous performance in the 1995 feature film La Haine.

 

During the mid-2000s, filmmakers such as Jan Kounen, Jacques Audiard, and Gaspard Noé developed a great interest in the man.

 

Needless to say, he was seen in quite a few mainstream French hits. Soon enough, Cassel took the Hollywood route and was seen starring in popular feature films such as Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen, Eastern Promises, Black Swan, and Jason Bourne, to name a few.

 

He ranks among the best French actors of his generation whose performances go beyond the stretch of French cinema.

 

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