Fanny Ardant

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Fanny Ardant
Ardant at the 45th César Awards in 2020
Fanny Marguerite Judith Ardant

(1949-03-22) 22 March 1949 (age 74)
Years active1974–present
PartnerFrançois Truffaut (1981–1984; his death)

Fanny Marguerite Judith Ardant (born 22 March 1949) is a French actress and film director. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two César Awards and a Lumières Award.

Early life[edit]

Ardant was born in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France, to a military attaché father.[1] She grew up in Monaco until age 17, when she moved to Aix-en-Provence to study at the Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence. In her early twenties, her interest turned to acting and in 1974 she made her first appearance on stage.


Fanny Ardant at the press conference of Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind at Berlinale 2018

By the early 1980s, Ardant was a major film star, gaining international recognition for her role opposite Gérard Depardieu in La Femme d'à côté (The Woman Next Door).[2] The film, directed by François Truffaut, brought Ardant her first César Award nomination for best actress in 1982 and in 1984 she was nominated again for Vivement dimanche!. Eventually, she became Truffaut's partner, giving birth to their daughter, Joséphine Truffaut, on 28 September 1983. Initially, her youthful beauty brought popularity but over time her sophistication and acting skills made her one of France's most admired actresses.[3] She proved her versatility, playing a comedic role in Pédale douce for which she won the 1997 César Award for Best Actress.

Fluent in English and Italian, Ardant has starred in several Hollywood and British films. Her most recent English-language film was the 2002 Franco Zeffirelli production Callas Forever, in which she portrayed opera diva Maria Callas. It opened the 14th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on 9 January 2003. In 2003, Ardant received the Stanislavsky Award at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival (for the outstanding achievement in the career of acting and devotion to the principles of Stanislavsky's school).[4]

In 2009, she became a director and screenwriter, with Cendres et sang (Ashes and Blood). She also took part in a rare performance of Sardou's La Haine on 19 July 2009 at the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon, with Gérard Depardieu, the concert broadcast on France Musique.[5]

In 2010, she directed a short feature, Absent Chimeras (Chimères absentes in French), in which she also stars. She made this short film in order to raise public awareness to the plight of Romani people in Europe, a cause she personally defends.[6] In 2011, she starred in the music video for Elle me dit, the first French single by Lebanese singer Mika, and appeared in the play based on Joan Didion's 2005 novel The Year of Magical Thinking in the Théâtre de l'Atelier, Paris. She also starred in Interno Giorno that same year by Tommaso Rossellini, acting in both French and Italian. In 2013, she made a cameo appearance as herself in The Great Beauty.[7]

In 2018, Ardant starred in the Swiss drama film Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind by Ursula Meier. It was screened in the Panorama section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2019, Ardant directed the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at the Greek National Opera.

Personal life[edit]

Fanny Ardant was the youngest of five children born to a cavalry officer and his wife. She was raised in Monte Carlo where she was educated at a convent school. A voracious reader, she discovered Proust at age 15 and felt as though his writings were for her.[citation needed]

When she was 27 her father died and the shock of his loss never left her. Shortly before his death Ardant started acting on stage. However following her father's death she followed his advice and went to university in Aix-en-Provence where she read Political Science. Upon graduation she took a job working for the French embassy in London from which she was sacked for poor time keeping and being dishevelled. The latter was attributed to the social whirl she enjoyed in London.[citation needed]

Ardant continued working odd jobs in London before deciding, almost on a whim, to go to drama school. She returned to France for her studies and before long began acting on stage and then on television. At the age of 31 she was contacted by François Truffaut who had spotted her in a television drama and wanted to cast her in The Woman Next Door. While working together Ardant and Truffaut fell in love and in 1983 she gave birth to their daughter Josephine. Truffaut died a year later from a brain tumour.[citation needed]

In August 2007, Ardant expressed her "admiration" for the Red Brigades leader as a "hero", adding she "considered the Red Brigades phenomenon to be very moving and passionate". For her comments, the actress was sued in the Italian courts by Piero Mazzola, the son of an Italian policeman killed by the Red Brigades.

In 2009, Ardant signed a petition in support of director Roman Polanski, who had been detained while traveling to a film festival in relation to his 1977 sexual abuse charges, which the petition argued would undermine the tradition of film festivals as a place for works to be shown "freely and safely", and that arresting filmmakers traveling to neutral countries could open the door "for actions of which no-one can know the effects."[8][9]

Selected filmography[edit]

Ardant at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival
Year Title Role Notes
1976 Marie-poupée Marie-Paule
1979 The Dogs Missing Girl
1981 Les Uns et les Autres Véronique
The Woman Next Door Mathilde Bauchard Nominated-César Award for Best Actress
1982 Life Is a Bed of Roses Livia Ceraskier
Confidentially Yours Barbara Becker Nominated-César Award for Best Actress
1983 Swann in Love Duchesse de Guermantes
Benvenuta Benvenuta
1984 L'Amour à mort Judith Martignac
1986 Mélo Christiane Levesque
1987 The Family Adriana
1988 Love and Fear Velia
1989 Australia Jeanne Gauthier
1992 Afraid of the Dark Miriam
1994 Colonel Chabert Countess Ferraud
A Hundred and One Nights the star who works at night
1995 Beyond the Clouds Patricia
Sabrina Irene
1996 Désiré Odette
Pédale douce Evelyne, called Eva César Award for Best Actress
Ridicule Madame de Blayac
1998 Elizabeth Mary of Guise
Le Dîner Flora
1999 Augustin, King of Kung-Fu as herself
Le fils du Français Anne
2000 Le Libertin Madame Therbouche
2001 Don't Tempt Me Marina D'Angelo
2002 8 Women Pierrette Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
Callas Forever Maria Callas
2003 Nathalie... Catherine
2004 El año del diluvio Sor Consuelo
2006 Paris, je t'aime Fanny
2007 Roman de Gare Judith Ralitzer
Il Divo the wife of the French ambassador
2008 Hello Goodbye Gisèle
The Secrets Anouk
2009 Ashes and Blood (Director)
Face the producer/ Queen Hérodias
2011 Interno Giorno Maria Toricello
Raspoutine empress Alexandra Feodorovna
2013 Bright Days Ahead Caroline Nominated-César Award for Best Actress
The Great Beauty cameo appearance as herself
Cadences obstinées (Director)
2014 Casanova Variations Lucrecia
2015 Chic! Alicia Ricosi
2016 For This Is My Body The Woman
2017 Waiting for You Madeleine Brown
2017 O Turno da Noite Short film
2017 Lola Pater Lola Chekib
2018 Ma mère est folle Nina Renner
2019 Perdrix Thérèse Perdrix
La Belle Époque Marianne Drumond Nominated-César Award for Best Supporting Actress
2020 DNA Caroline Nominated-César Award for Best Supporting Actress
2021 The Young Lovers Shauna Loszinsky Nominated-César Award for Best Actress
2022 The Green Shutters Jeanne Swann
2022 The Colors of Fire Solange Gallinato
2023 The Palace Constance Rose Marie de La Valle
2023 Mr. Blake At Your Service! Nathalie [10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Institution Category Year Work Result
Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement (shared with the cast) 2002 8 Women Won
Cannes Film Festival Caméra d'Or 2009 Ashes and Blood Nominated
CinEuphoria Awards Best Film – National Competition 2018 Le divan de Staline Nominated
Best Director – National Competition Nominated
Best Actress in a Short Film – National Competition O Turno da Noite Nominated
Top Ten of the Year – National Competition Le divan de Staline Won
César Awards Best Actress 1982 The Woman Next Door Nominated
1984 Confidentially Yours Nominated
1997 Pédale douce Won
2003 8 Women Nominated
2014 Bright Days Ahead Nominated
Best Supporting Actress 2020 La Belle Époque Won
European Film Awards Best Actress (shared with the cast) 2002 8 Women Won
People's Choice Award for Best European Actress 2004 Nathalie... Nominated
Globe de Cristal Awards Best Actress 2020 La Belle Époque Nominated
Yerevan International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 Won
Golden Goblets Awards Career Goblet 1995 Won
Hellenic Film Academy Awards Honorary Award 2015 Won
Nastro d'Argento Best Foreign Actress 1997 The Family Nominated
European Silver Ribbon 2004 Won
Lumières Award Best Actress 1997 Ridicule Won
2020 La Belle Époque Nominated
Molière Award Best Actress 1993 L'Aide-mémoire Nominated
1997 Master Class Nominated
Moscow International Film Festival Stanislavsky Award 2003 Won


  1. ^ Fanny Ardant Biography (1949-) at Film Retrieved on 10 January 2009
  2. ^ Fanny Ardant at
  3. ^ Fanny Ardant at AllMovie
  4. ^ "25th Moscow International Film Festival (2003)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  5. ^ Presentation of concert on Festival de Radio France site. Archived 14 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Presentation of Absent Chimeras
  7. ^ Young, Deborah (21 May 2013). "The Great Beauty: Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Le cinéma soutient Roman Polanski / Petition for Roman Polanski - SACD". 4 June 2012. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  9. ^ Shoard, Catherine; Agencies (29 September 2009). "Release Polanski, demands petition by film industry luminaries". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  10. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (19 October 2023). "John Malkovich, Fanny Ardant sign for comedy-drama 'Mr. Blake At Your Service!' (exclusive)". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 20 May 2022.

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