French Film Noir Actors

by karljhickey14 | created - 06 Jun 2014 | updated - 07 Jun 2014 | 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 Simon

Actor | Le quai des brumes

The son of a sausage-maker, Michel Simon was conscripted into the Swiss Army at the start of World War I, but was thrown out through a combination of tuberculosis and general insubordination. He was variously a boxer, photographer, general handyman and right-wing anarchist, finally becoming a stage...

3. 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. "...

4. Bertrand Blier

Writer | Trop belle pour toi

Bertrand Blier was born on March 14, 1939 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France. He is a writer and director, known for Too Beautiful for You (1989), The Clink of Ice (2010) and 1, 2, 3, Freeze (1993).

5. Gérard Philipe

Actor | Le rouge et le noir

In 1940 Gerard left school and his parents wanted him be a lawyer. But soon his mother noticed that he was only interested in acting, although his father was against the idea. After timely intervention from Marc Allégret, who decided he showed some promise, Gerard's debut was in Claude Dauphin's ...

6. Michèle Morgan

Actress | La symphonie pastorale

A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the ...

7. Véra Clouzot

Actress | Les diaboliques

Véra Gibson-Amado, known professionally as Véra Clouzot, was a Brazilian-French actress.

In 1941, Véra met French actor Léo Lapara, a member of the theater company of Louis Jouvet, who toured in Brazil during World War II. Vera married the actor, taking part in the company's South American tour that...

8. 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.

9. Simone Signoret

Actress | Les diaboliques

The face of Simone Signoret on the Paris Metro movie posters in March 1982 looked even older than her 61 years. She was still a box office draw, but the film, L'étoile du Nord (1982), would be her last theatrical release. She played the landlady. Signoret had a long film apprenticeship ...

10. Lino Ventura

Actor | L'armée des ombres

One of France's most beloved character stars from the 1950s through and including the 1980s was the Italian-born Lino Ventura. Born Angiolino Joseph Pascal Ventura to Giovanni Ventura and Luisa Borrini, on July 14, 1919, in Parma (northern) Italy, young Lino moved with his family at a young age to ...

11. 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 ...

12. 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 ...

13. Eddie Constantine

Actor | Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution

Iconic American-born singer and actor in international films since the 1950s. Born in L.A. to Russian immigrant parents, Constantine studied voice in Vienna. He returned to the US, where his singing career wavered and he found work as a film extra. Constantine first achieved fame in Paris, where he...

14. 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 ...

15. Jeanne Moreau

Actress | Jules et Jim

When people gave Louis Malle credit for making a star of Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows (1958) immediately followed by The Lovers (1958), he would point out that Moreau by that time had already been "recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation." She had made it to the Comédie ...

16. 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 ...

17. 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 (...

18. Michel Constantin

Actor | Il était une fois un flic...

Michel Constantin was born on July 13, 1924 in Paris, France as Constantin Hokhloff. He was an actor, known for Flic Story (1972), Le Deuxième Souffle (1966) and Le Trou (1960). He was married to Maud Serres. He died on August 29, 2003 in Draguignan, Var, France.

19. Catherine Deneuve

Actress | 8 femmes

Catherine Fabienne Deneuve was born October 22, 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 Vice and Virtue (1963). But her breakthrough ...

20. Robert Manuel

Actor | Du rififi chez les hommes

Robert Manuel was a long-time member of The Comédie-Française. He got his first part on stage in 1933 in Gabriel Pierné's "Fragonard" at the early age of eighteen, which allowed him to celebrate - as of October 1983 - the fiftieth anniversary of his debut. At the time he was playing Liberio Bocca,a...

21. Stéphane Audran

Actress | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie

Stéphane Audran was born on November 8, 1932 in Versailles, Seine-et-Oise [now Yvelines], France as Colette Suzanne Dacheville. She was an actress, known for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Babette's Feast (1987) and Le Boucher (1970). She was married to Claude Chabrol and Jean-Louis ...

22. 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 ...

23. 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...

24. Marcel Bozzuffi

Actor | The French Connection

Marcel Bozzuffi was born on October 28, 1928 in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France. He was an actor and director, known for The French Connection (1971), Z (1969) and The Day and the Hour (1963). He was married to Françoise Fabian. He died on February 2, 1988 in Paris, France.

25. Jean-Pierre Aumont

Actor | Lili

Another in the long line of dramatically handsome foreign imports who made an immediate impact on WWII Hollywood was debonair French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont. The epitome of grace and sophistication, the stylish leading man went on to have a long and respectful career on stage, film and TV, both ...

26. Brigitte Bardot

Actress | Le mépris

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 ...

27. 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 Phantom of Liberty (1974) and Jeunes mariés (1953). He died on October 27, 1974 in Nevers, Nièvre, France.

28. 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, ...

29. Madeleine Robinson

Actress | À double tour

Madeleine Robinson was born on November 5, 1917 in Paris, France as Madeleine Yvonne Svoboda. She was an actress, known for Leda (1959), Les frères Bouquinquant (1948) and Such a Pretty Little Beach (1949). She was married to Guillaume Amestoy and Robert Dalban. She died on August 1, 2004 in...

30. Roger Duchesne

Actor | Bob le flambeur

Roger Duchesne was born on July 27, 1906 in Luxeuil-les-Bains, Haute-Saône, France as Roger Jordaens. He was an actor, known for Bob le Flambeur (1956), Taras Bulba (1936) and Tempête sur l'Asie (1938). He was married to Yvette Lebon. He died on December 25, 1996 in Les Mureaux, Yvelines, ...

31. Michel Duchaussoy

Actor | L'instinct de mort

Michel Duchaussoy was born on November 29, 1938 in Valenciennes, Nord, France as Michel René Jacques Duchaussoy. He was an actor, known for Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008), Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008) and Intimate Strangers (2004). He was married to Isabelle De Funès. He died on ...

32. 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.

33. 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), Purple Noon (1960) and Elevator to the Gallows (1958). He was married to Maria Pacôme. He died on March 14, 1983 in Paris, ...

34. Charles Vanel

Actor | Le salaire de la peur

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 The Wages of Fear (1953), Diabolique (1955) and To Catch a Thief (1955). He was married to Arlette Mauricette Bailly. He died on April 15, 1989 in Cannes, ...

35. Peter van Eyck

Actor | The Longest Day

With his whitish blond crew-cut, slow, menacing drawl and Germanic manner, Van Eyck was destined to be typecast as stereotypically scowling, arrogant Nazi officers. This was ironic, because being an avowed anti-fascist, he had left Germany in 1931 -- two years before Adolf Hitler came to power. The...

36. Marlene Dietrich

Soundtrack | Witness for the Prosecution

Her father was a police lieutenant and imbued in her a military attitude to life. Marlene was known in school for her "bedroom eyes" and her first affairs were at this stage in her life - a professor at the school was terminated. She entered the cabaret scene in 1920s Germany, first as a spectator ...

37. Gian Maria Volontè

Actor | Per un pugno di dollari

Born in Milan in 1933, Gian Maria Volontè studied in Rome at the National Dramatic Arts Academy, where he obtained his degree in 1957. He began working in theatre and television, where he was soon noticed as one of the most promising actors of his generation. After several supporting appearances in ...

38. Robert Stack

Actor | Airplane!

"Straight Shooting" - whether skeet shooting, or portraying Eliot Ness, Robert Stack always tells it like it is, and shoots straight. Robert was the second child of Elizabeth Modini Wood (who named him Charles after his grandfather) and James Langford Stack (who changed his name to Robert, after no...

39. Richard Crenna

Actor | Rambo III

Richard Donald Crenna was born in Los Angeles, California, into a modest-income family, the only child of Edith J. (Pollette) and Domenick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. His parents were both of Italian descent. His mother managed a small hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where Richard and his family ...

40. 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 ...

41. Mireille Balin

Actress | Don Quichotte

Mireille Balin was one the most glamorous and best loved actresses of pre-war French cinema. She appeared in two of the best remembered French films of the 1930s: Pépé le Moko (1937) and Lady Killer (1937), both opposite Jean Gabin. After the German occupation of France and her ...

42. Jules Berry

Actor | Aventure à Paris

Jules Berry was born on February 9, 1883 in Poitiers, Vienne, France as Jules Peaufichet. He was an actor, known for Adventure in Paris (1936), The London Man (1943) and Balthazar (1937). He was married to Josseline Gaël. He died on April 23, 1951 in Paris, France.

43. Arletty

Actress | Les enfants du paradis

Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having ...

44. Simone Simon

Actress | Cat People

Diminutive, fiery-tempered Simone Simon was born in France, but spent much of her early childhood in Madagascar, where her father managed a graphite mine. Her schooling was somewhat unsettled, her family moving from city to city (Berlin, Budapest, Turin) before finally establishing themselves in ...

45. Isa Miranda

Actress | Le mura di Malapaga

Isa Miranda was one of the most significant actresses in Europe from the 1930s-'50s. Her remarkable talent expressed itself both in cinema and theater. She reached international popularity in the 1930s, especially in France, Germany and Austria, and became the only international movie star produced...

46. 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 ...

47. 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), The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942) and Amazing Monsieur Fabre (1951). He was married to Berthe Bovy and Rachel Bérendt. He died on January...



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