Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu
27 December 1948
(m. 1971; div. 1996)
|Children||4, including Guillaume and Julie|
Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu, CQ (UK: /ˈdɛpɑːrdjɜː, ˌdɛpɑːrˈdjɜː/, US: /-ˈdjʌ, ˌdeɪpɑːrˈdjuː/, French: [ʒeʁaʁ ɡzavje maʁsɛl dəpaʁdjø] (listen); born 27 December 1948) is a French actor, filmmaker, businessman and vineyard owner since 1989 who is one of the most prolific thespians in film history. He has completed over 250 films since 1967, almost exclusively as a lead. Depardieu has worked with over 150 film directors whose most notable collaborations include Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Maurice Pialat, Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Ridley Scott and Bernardo Bertolucci. He is the second highest grossing actor in the history of French Cinema behind Louis de Funès. As of January 2022, his body of work also include countless television productions, 18 theatre plays, 16 records and 9 books. He is mostly known as a character actor and for having portrayed numerous leading historical and fictitious figures of the Western world including Georges Danton, Joseph Stalin, Honoré de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Rodin, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jean Valjean, Edmond Dantès, Christopher Columbus, Obélix, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
He is a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur and Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite. He was granted citizenship of Russia in January 2013 (officially adopted name in Russian: Жерар Ксавие Депардьё, romanized: Zherar Ksavie Depardyo), and became a cultural ambassador of Montenegro during the same month.
He has received acclaim for his performances in The Last Metro (1980), for which he won the César Award for Best Actor, in Police (1985), for which he won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, Jean de Florette (1986), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), for which he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and his second César Award for Best Actor as well as garnering a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He co-starred in Peter Weir's comedy Green Card (1991), winning a Golden Globe Award, and later acted in many big budget Hollywood films, including Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), Randall Wallace's The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), and Ang Lee's Life of Pi (2012).
Gérard Depardieu was born on 27 December 1948 in Châteauroux, Indre, France. He is one of the five children of Anne Jeanne Josèphe (née Marillier) known as "La Lilette", stay-at-home mother, and René Maxime Lionel Depardieu (better known in his neighborhood as "Dédé" because he could only write two letters),: 12 a metal worker and volunteer fireman. His father and mother were both born in 1923 and both died in 1988.
Gérard Depardieu grew up in poverty in a two-room apartment at 39 rue du Maréchal-Joffre, Châteauroux, in a proletarian family with five brothers and sisters.: 19 Gérard helped his mother in the deliveries of his younger brothers and sisters. He spent more time on the streets than in school, leaving at the age of 13. Practically illiterate and half stammering, he learned to read only later. He worked at a printworks, while participating in boxing matches. He also became involved in selling stolen goods, and was put on probation.
During a difficult adolescence, he "got by", through committing theft and smuggling all kinds of goods (cigarettes, alcohol), among others with the GIs of the large American air base of Châteauroux-Déols. He also acted as a bodyguard for prostitutes who came down from Paris on weekends, the GIs' payday. His family nicknamed him "Pétard" or "Pétarou", because of the habit he had acquired of farting incessantly, in all places.: 23
In 1968, his best friend of childhood Jacky Merveille, also a kingpin from Châteauroux, died in a car accident, and Depardieu decided to take his destiny in hand.: 37
At the age of sixteen, Depardieu left Châteauroux for Paris. There, he began acting in the new comedy theatre Café de la Gare, along with Patrick Dewaere, Romain Bouteille, Sotha, Coluche, and Miou-Miou. He studied theater under Jean-Laurent Cochet. Regardless his lack of culture, he heavily studied the classics and followed a therapy to correct his disastrous diction and memory. Moreover, through his first wife, Élisabeth Guignot, he discovered the Parisian bourgeoisie. Thus, he met Agnès Varda and her husband Jacques Demy. His first film role to gain attention was playing Jean-Claude in Bertrand Blier's comedy Les Valseuses (Going Places, 1974). Other prominent early films include Barbet Schroeder's controversial Maîtresse (1975), a starring role in Bernardo Bertolucci's historical epic 1900 (1976), with Robert De Niro, and a role in François Truffaut's The Last Metro (1980), with Catherine Deneuve for which he won his first César Award for Best Actor.
Depardieu's international profile rose as a result of his performance as a doomed, hunchbacked farmer in the film Jean de Florette (1986) and received notice for his starring role in Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), for which he won his second César Award for Best Actor, the Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor, and received a nomination for an Academy Award. Depardieu co-starred in Peter Weir's English language romantic comedy Green Card (1991), for which he won a Golden Globe Award. He has since had other roles in other English language films, including Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), and Ang Lee's Life of Pi (2012). He played Obélix in the four live-action Astérix films in which he is said to have discovered Mélanie Laurent when she was fourteen. In 2009, he took part in a rare performance of Sardou's La Haine at the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon, with Fanny Ardant; subsequently broadcast on France Musique. In 2013, he starred in an independent film titled A Farewell to Fools. Depardieu featured as a main character in Antwerp (Edinburgh Festival 2014), a play in The Europeans Trilogy (Bruges, Antwerp, Tervuren) by Paris-based UK playwright Nick Awde. In 2014, he starred in the controversial Welcome to New York in the thinly-disguised impersonation of disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
In 1970, Depardieu married Élisabeth Guignot, with whom he had two children, actor Guillaume (1971–2008) and actress Julie (born 1973). On 28 January 1992, while separated from Guignot, he had a daughter, Roxanne, with the model Karine Silla (sister of producer Virginie Besson-Silla). In 1996, he divorced Guignot and began a relationship with actress Carole Bouquet, who was his partner from 1997 to 2005.
Depardieu underwent heart surgery in July 2000. On 14 July 2006, he had a son, Jean, with French-Cambodian Hélène Bizot (daughter of François Bizot, not actress Hélène Bizot). Since 2005, Depardieu has lived with Clémentine Igou.
On 13 October 2008, Depardieu's son Guillaume died from pneumonia at the age of 37. Guillaume's health had been adversely affected by drug addiction and by a 1995 motorcycle crash that eventually required the amputation of his right leg in 2003. Depardieu and Guillaume had a turbulent relationship, but had reconciled prior to Guillaume's death.
In September 2020, Depardieu converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris.
On 18 May 1998, Depardieu had a motorcycle accident with a high blood alcohol content, of 2.5 g/L  on the way to the shooting of Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar, by Claude Zidi. He was prescribed forty days off work.
In 2012 he was hit by a car while riding his scooter in Paris. The same year, while intoxicated with 1.8 g/L of alcohol in the blood, he had another scooter accident, without injury and without collision with another party. Since the 2000s, the actor has suffered at least seven motorcycle or scooter accidents.
Sexual assault and rape allegations
In a 1978 interview, Depardieu reportedly confirmed a story that he first participated in a rape when he was nine years old and that he had participated in more rapes since then. He reportedly stated there were "too many [rapes] to count... There was nothing wrong with it. The girls wanted to be raped. I mean, there's no such thing as rape. It's only a matter of a girl putting herself in a situation where she wants to be." The story re-emerged in Time magazine in 1991. On 15 March 1991, Depardieu's American publicist Lois Smith stated, "he's sorry, but it happened." The National Organization for Women requested an apology from Depardieu. Later that month, Depardieu's French publicist Claude Devy discounted the statements made by Smith, and Depardieu threatened legal action against any media outlet that published the comments. Depardieu's team said his words were mistranslated and he only admitted to having witnessed rapes. Time refused to retract the story.
In August 2018, Depardieu was accused of sexual assault and rape by a 22-year-old actress and dancer. The actress reported being assaulted twice by Depardieu in his home during rehearsal sessions. The unnamed actress made her statement to police in Lambesc, southern France, after which the case was passed to prosecutors in the capital. Depardieu denied the allegations. In 2019, the charges were dropped after a nine-month police investigation. The case was reopened in October 2020 after his accuser refiled the complaint. In February 2021, it was announced that French authorities charged Depardieu with rape in December 2020, stemming from the incident in August 2018. According to Depardieu's lawyer, Hervé Témime, speaking to Le Monde, the actor rejects the allegation. In March 2022, the Paris Court of Appeal rejected Depardieu's attempt to have the charges dropped and announced the actor will remain under formal investigation. Following this investigation, the case will either be brought to trial or dismissed.
Depardieu has been an official resident of Néchin, Belgium, since 7 December 2012. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault criticised his move. On 15 December 2012, Depardieu publicly stated he was handing back his French passport. On 3 January 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an Executive Order granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu. In his first interview thereafter, Depardieu attacked Putin's critics for "lacking vision". In his autobiography, Depardieu said Putin "immediately liked my hooligan side." In February 2013, he registered as a resident of Saransk. Also in January 2013, he was appointed a cultural ambassador for Montenegro. In the summer of 2015, Depardieu's films were banned from television and cinemas in Ukraine due to his remarks questioning Ukraine's right to exist as an independent state. In February 2022, Depardieu revealed that he had become a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, although he did not specify when this occurred.
Depardieu has been nominated for the César for Best Actor in a Leading Role 17 times during his career and won it twice, in 1981 and 1991. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1990 for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac.
- 1985: Volpi Cup for Best Actor for his role in Police
- 1985: Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre national du Mérite
- 1990: Cannes Film Festival: Best actor award for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac
- 1996: Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur
- 2006: Moscow Film Festival: Stanislavsky Award for the outstanding achievement in the career of acting
|Association||Year||Category||Nominated Work||Result|
|7 d'Or Night||1999||Audience Vote: Best Actor – Fiction||Le Comte de Monte Cristo||Won|
|20/20 Awards||2011||Best Actor||Cyrano de Bergerac||Nominated|
|Academy Awards||1991||Best Actor||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||1988||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Jean de Florette||Nominated|
|1992||Cyrano de Bergerac||Nominated|
|British Film Institute||1989||BFI Fellowship||—||Won|
|Cesar Awards||1976||Best Actor||7 morts sur ordonnance||Nominated|
|1977||La dernière femme||Nominated|
|1978||Dites-lui que je ľaime||Nominated|
|1981||Le dernier metro||Won|
|1988||Sous le soleil de Satan||Nominated|
|1990||Trop belle pour toi||Nominated|
|1991||Cyrano de Bergerac||Won|
|1995||Le colonel Chabert||Nominated|
|2007||Quand j'étais chanteur||Nominated|
|2016||Valley of Love||Nominated|
|Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association||1991||Best Actor||Cyrano de Bergerac||Nominated|
|David di Donatello Awards||1991||Best Foreign Actor||Nominated|
|European Film Awards||1990||European Actor of the Year||Nominated|
|1998||Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema||The Man in the Iron Mask||Nominated|
|Étoiles ďOr||2011||Best Actor||Mammuth||Won|
|Globes de Cristal Awards||2007||Best Actor||Quand j'étais chanteur||Nominated|
|Golden Camera Awards||1996||Best International Actor||Les anges gardiens||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||1991||Best Actor – Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy||Green Card||Won|
|Hamburg Film Festival||2006||Douglas Sirk Award||—||Won|
|Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival||2011||Award of Excellence||Grenouille d'hiver||Won|
|I've Seen Films – International Film Festival||2012||Best Actor||Won|
|Jules Verne Awards||2009||Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement Award||—||Won|
|London Critics Circle Film Awards||1992||Actor of the Year||Cyrano de Bergerac
|Lumiere Awards||2007||Best Actor||Quand j'étais chanteur||Won|
|2016||Valley of Love||Nominated|
|Montréal World Film Festival||1983||Best Actor||Danton||Won|
|1995||Grand Prix Special des Amériques||—||Won|
|1999||Grand Prix des Amériques||Un pont entre deux rives||Nominated|
|National Society of Film Critics Awards||1977||Best Actor||La derniére femme||Nominated|
|1984||Le retour de Martin Guerre
|New York Film Critics Circle Awards||1983||Best Actor||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||2003||Outstanding Miniseries||Napoleon||Nominated|
|San Francisco International Film Festival||1994||Piper-Heidsieck Award||—||Won|
|Telluride Film Festival||1990||Silver Medallion Award||—||Won|
|The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||2000||Worst Supporting Actor||102 Dalmatians||Nominated|
|2000||Worst On-Screen Couple (shared with Glenn Close)||Nominated|
|2000||Worst On-Screen Hairstyle||Nominated|
|Venice Film Festival||1997||Career Golden Lion||—||Won|
|Verona Love Screens Film Festival||2000||Best Actor||Un pont entre deux rives||Won|
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- 1948 births
- Living people
- 20th-century French male actors
- 21st-century French male actors
- Best Actor César Award winners
- Best Actor Lumières Award winners
- Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (film) winners
- Café de la Gare
- Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor winners
- Chevaliers of the Légion d'honneur
- Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism
- French male film actors
- Male actors from Paris
- Knights of the Ordre national du Mérite
- Knights of the National Order of Quebec
- Male Shakespearean actors
- Naturalised citizens of Russia
- Naturalized citizens of the United Arab Emirates
- People from Châteauroux
- Russian people of French descent
- Volpi Cup for Best Actor winners
- Wine merchants
- Russian activists against the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- Depardieu family