It's difficult to limit a list to only 10 famous French actors. The French are well-known for their love affair with cinema, and of course, anyone interested in film should dig into French film history. These 10 famous French actors are a good starting point if you're interested in learning more about French film.
- Jean-Pierre Bacri. A well-respected actor and screenwriter, Bacri has won the Cesar Award for Best Writing four times.
- Jean Gabin. Gabin was a major early film star who started in silent films. He moved to the United States during the second World War, where he developed a reputation for being difficult to work with.
- Gerard Depardieu. Depardieu is an internationally-known star who got his start in a traveling theater. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in "Cyrano de Bergerac."
Jean-Paul Belmondo. Considered part of the French New Wave of cinema in the 1960s, Belmondo's career has stretched over 50 years.
- Mathieu Amalric. Well-known as one of France's most versatile actors, Amalric made big waves in North America after his turn with Daniel Craig in the James Bond flick "Quantum of Solace."
- Jean-Hugues Anglade. Anglade has a reputation for being able to take on any type of role. He's perhaps best known for his role as the boyfriend in "Le Femme Nikita."
Alain Chabat. Chabat is a comedic actor and director. His most famous role in English-speaking films is probably his turn as Napoleon in the "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." He also had the honor of dubbing in the voice of Shrek for the French language version of all three "Shrek" films.
- Mathieu Kassovitz. A well-respected actor, director and producer, he won Best Director at Cannes for the film "La Haine," but is probably best known in the United States for his role as the boyfriend in the romantic film "Amelie."
- Romain Duris. Duris is another versatile actor, known for taking on all kinds of roles. He's known for his role in the movie "The Spanish Apartment."
- Vincent Cassel. A well-known and popular actor in his native country, he's probably best known in the U.S. for his roles in "Ocean's Twelve" and "Ocean's Thirteen."
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