French Actresses

Rachel Hanson
Cannes Film Festival

Several famous French actresses are known all over the world for their acting skills, their charming accents, and their flawless style. While some only appear in original French movies, other French actresses cross language barriers to appear in other world movies.

Famous French Actresses

Throughout the history of French film, female leads have played a large role in shaping French movies. Seen around the world as beautiful and witty, French actresses bring much more than acting talent and pretty faces to the big screen. Actresses from France are famous for their magnetism and quick thinking.

Audrey Tautou

Audrey Tautou is a French actress who suddenly became world famous with a 2001 movie called le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (often simply called Amélie). She played the female lead character in this eccentric movie that's realist, and yet full of surprises. She charmed the entire world with her sweet character, beginning a whole new era of putting the spotlight on French actresses.

Tautou, born and raised in France, has acted in some American-made movies (for example 'The Da Vinci Code'); however, she plans to continue to reside and work in France. Other famous films she has made are Dirty, Pretty Things, A Very Long Engagement, and He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. In each of these movies, her character is different from each of her other movies, underlining her talent as an actress in addition to her magnetic charm and style.

Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche is one of the most classic actresses of France from this generation. Hitting the world movie industry in 1988 (The Unbearable Lightness of Being), she has gone on to star in several movies, both European and American made. Some of the most famous movies have been the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge series and the film version of the book Chocolat.Whether she plays a period role such as in The Widow of Saint Pierre, or the exotic stranger, such as in Dan in Real Life, Binoche is a charming French actress. She has won several awards, and is recognized for her class as well as her charm.

Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve is a quintessential French actress who embodies all the charming qualities for which the French are loved. Born in 1943, Deneuve is an example of aging gracefully. In addition to having already acted in more than 100 films, she is still modeling for several companies, including skin care lines and various fashion icons.

Most famous for films le Dernier Métro and Indochine, she is also remembered for her work with Polanski. Far from being overshadowed by the younger generation of French acting talents, Deneuve remains a revered actress.

Emmanuelle Béart

Another classic actress from France, Béart is on the younger side of the classic generation of actresses. She became famous for her 1986 lead role in Manon des sources, and went on from there to star in several French movies. She has won several acting awards, and been nominated for several more. She remains a magnetic presence in the film industry, and is also much appreciated for her beauty; the issue of Elle magazine featuring her on the cover is the best-selling issue in the history of magazine. Beyond France she is known and revered world-wide, like so many other French actresses.

Julie Delpy

Who can forget the quirky female lead in Before Sunrise. Audiences fell in love with the movie right alongside this elegant young European actress. Her career has several high points in it, but on the international stage it was this traveler's tale of a film that brought her into the limelight. She wrote the sequel to Before Sunrise (Before Sunset), and starred in the film as well as winning an award for the screenplay.

A New Generation

A new generation of promising French actresses is on the rise. Names like Marion Cotillard, Eva Green, and Marie Gillain may not ring a bell yet, but they are on the verge of widespread fame. In France and in film buff circles, these ladies are already famous, and with their talents and charm, it won't be long before they are among the most revered actresses to hit the big screen, and become some of the most famous women of France.

French Actresses