Josiane Balasko

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Josiane Balasko
Balasko, aged 64
Balasko in 2014
Josiane Balašković

(1950-04-15) 15 April 1950 (age 73)
Paris, France
Occupation(s)Actress, comedian, director, writer
Years active1973–present
(m. 2003)
Partner(s)Bruno Moynot (1974–1981)
Philippe Berry (1982–1999)
Children2, including Marilou Berry
AwardsCésar Award for Best Writing
1996 French Twist
Honorary César
2000 Lifetime Achievement

Josiane Balasko (born Josiane Balašković; 15 April 1950) is a French actress, writer, and director. She has been nominated seven times for César Awards, and won twice.


One of Balasko's most recognized roles among English speakers is as a lesbian in 1995's Gazon maudit (French Twist). She won the 1996 César Award (shared with Telsche Boorman) for best screenplay, and was also nominated as best director. The movie itself was nominated for best film. Balasko's other César nominations for best actress were for Too Beautiful for You (1989), Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes (1993), and That Woman (2003).[citation needed]

1973–1980: The beginning[edit]

Balasko began her career in 1973 and was 23 years old when she first appeared on screen, in the short L'Agression, with Patrick Bouchitey. She was in the movie L'an 01, directed by Jacques Doillon. After an absence of three years she returned to the screen in 1976 in the film The Tenant, directed by Roman Polanski, with a screenplay written by him and Gérard Brach. The movie was based on the novel written by Roland Topor.[citation needed]

Balasco career exploded in 1977, with her appearing in seven films over the course of the year. She first appeared in "Solveig et le Violon turc", with Eugène Ionesco and Dominique Lavanant. Then, she played Simone in "Une fille unique" alongside her boyfriend at the time, Bruno Moynot. She made an appearance in Animal, directed by Claude Zidi, on a screenplay written by him, Michel Audiard and Dominique Fabre. It was a big success with more than three million attendances in France, the movie was #5 in 1977 in France. She appeared in Pardon Mon Affaire, Too!, directed by Yves Robert and written by him and Jean-Loup Dabadie. The movie was also a big success with more than two million attending in France alone, and was no.8 in 1977 in France.[1]

She played Nadine in This Sweet Sickness, directed by Claude Miller, based on the novel written by Patricia Highsmith. The movie starred Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou, Claude Piéplu, Dominique Laffin and Christian Clavier. She also acted, under the direction of Philippe Monnier, in Monsieur Papa, in which the dialogue was written by Jean-Marie Poiré.

Balasko starred alongside Claude Brasseur, Nathalie Baye, Daniel Auteuil and Éva Darlan. Finally, she appeared (in an uncredited role) in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, directed by Vincent McEveety, written by Don Nelson. With almost three millions attendances in France and nearly 30 million worldwide, the movie was a big success.[citation needed]

In 1978, Balasko played in "Si vous n'aimez pas ça, n'en dégoûtez pas les autres", with Gérard Jugnot and Thierry Lhermitte, and in "Les Petits Câlins", directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, alongside Dominique Laffin, Françoise Bertin and Gérard Jugnot. Then, she was in La Tortue sur le dos.[citation needed]

Balasko had the leading role in the comedy "Pauline et l'Ordinateur", for which she wrote the dialogue and where she acted next to Gérard Jugnot, Éva Darlan, Jacques Attali and Marie-Anne Chazel. Finally, she played Nathalie Morin in the cult comedy Les Bronzés, directed by Patrice Leconte, with her friends from Le Splendid, Marie-Anne Chazel, Michel Blanc, Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte, Christian Clavier and Dominique Lavanant. The movie was a hit with more than two million attendances.[2]

In 1979, Balasko played Emma-Ammé in one episode of the TV Mini-Series, "Les Quatre Cents Coups de Virginie", alongside Anémone. Then Nathalie Morin again, in the sequel Les Bronzés font du ski with the same cast, which was also a success with more than a millions attendances.[3] She also appeared as a client in the movie "Les héros n'ont pas froid aux oreilles", with Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Jugnot, Roland Giraud, Gérard Lanvin, Michel Blanc, Thierry Lhermitte, Marie-Anne Chazel and Christian Clavier.

1981–1990: directing debut[edit]

Josiane Balasko in October 2013 to Namur

1981 was very successful for Balasko. First, she played Louise in Clara et les Chics Types. Later, she had the leading role in the very successful comedy Les hommes préfèrent les grosses. The movie was a commercial success. It was directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, who co-wrote the film, with Balasko.[4] After this, she was in another comedy named Le Maître d'école, directed by Claude Berri. This film was also commercially successful, the #9 movie at the French Box Office in 1981.[5] She then played Colette, a supporting role, in Hotel America, directed by André Téchiné, also starring Catherine and Patrick Dewaere.

In 1982, Balasko was in another cult movie, Le Père Noël est une ordure, directed for the third time by Jean-Marie Poiré. The film was commercially successful.[6]

In 1983, Balasko had two comedy hits. Papy fait de la résistance, which was #7 in the 1983 French box office.[7] and Signes extérieurs de richesse, another success.[8]

In 1984, Balasko played a supporting role in the comedy P'tit Con, directed by Gérard Lauzier. She then had the leading role in another comedy, La smala, directed by Jean-Loup Hubert. Finally, she played a supporting role in the comedy La vengeance du serpent à plumes directed by Gérard Oury. The movie was her biggest success of that year.[9] In 1985, she appeared in the movie Tranches de vie directed by François Leterrier. That year she also made her directional debut with the comedy Sac de noeuds, which she wrote, directed and starred in.[citation needed]

1990 onward[edit]

Since 1990, Balasko has enjoyed a busy career acting in numerous films in a very wide variety of roles but having an international directing success in 1995 with Gazon Maudit (French Twist), in which she co-starred with Alain Chabat and gained her a César for best screenplay and a nomination for best film. In 2006 she was re-united once again with the Le Splendid team for another Bronzés film Bronzés 3: Amis pour La Vie.


In 2018, Balasko record a song with the rapper Mac Tyer on his album C'est la street mon pote.

In February 2019, Balasko received the Crystal Comedy Award during the 4th Festival International du Film de Comédie de Liège to reward her career.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Bruno Moynot was her partner from 1974 until 1981. In a second union with sculptor Philippe Berry (brother of actor Richard Berry), she had a daughter, Marilou Berry (born 1 February 1983), also an actress, and an adopted son, Rudy Berry (born 1988). She divorced from Philippe Berry in 1999 and married American actor George Aguilar in 2003, whom she met on the set of The Frenchman's Son in 1999.

In July 2018, Balasko's daughter Marilou Berry announced on her Instagram account that she was pregnant with her first child. Her son, Andy, was born in November 2018 and was Balasko's first grandchild.



Year Title Role Notes
1973 The Year 01
1976 The Tenant Viviane
An Unusual Girl Simone
1977 Pardon Mon Affaire, Too! Josy
This Sweet Sickness Nadine
Animal Supermarket Girl
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Uncredited
Monsieur Papa
1978 French Fried Vacation Nathalie Morin
The Little Wheedlers Corinne
Pauline et l'Ordinateur Pauline
Si vous n'aimez pas ça, n'en dégoûtez pas les autres A spectator
Like a Turtle on Its Back
1979 French Fried Vacation 2 Nathalie Morin
Heroes Are Not Wet Behind the Ears A client
1980 Les Quatre Cents Coups de Virginie Emma-Ammé TV Mini-Series
1981 Men Prefer Fat Girls Lydie Langlois
Le Maître d'école Mrs. Lajoie
Hotel America Colette
Clara et les Chics Types Louise
1982 Santa Claus Is a Stinker Madame Musquin
1983 Signes extérieurs de richesse Béatrice Flamand
Gramps Is in the Resistance The pharmacist
1984 P'tit Con Rolande
La smala Simone
The Vengeance of the Winged Serpent Jackie
1985 All Mixed Up Anita
Slices of Life Madame Dupuis
1986 Nuit d'ivresse Frède
The Joint Brothers Aline
1987 Lady Cops Insp. Mireille Molineux
1988 Without Fear or Blame Handmaid
Une nuit à l'Assemblée Nationale The journalist
1989 Too Beautiful for You Colette Chevassu Nominated - César Award for Best Actress
1991 My Life Is Hell Leah Lemonier
The Professional Secrets of Dr. Apfelgluck The scientist
1993 Not Everybody's Lucky Enough to Have Communist Parents Irène Nominated - César Award for Best Actress
Shadow of a Doubt Sophia
1994 Dead Tired Herself
1995 French Twist Marijo
1997 Didier Madame Massart
Arlette Arlette Bathiat
1998 Un grand cri d'amour Gigi Ortega
1999 The Frenchman's Son Suzanne
2000 The Libertine Baroness Holbach
Actors André Dussollier 2
Chicken Run Bernadette French Voice
2001 A Crime in Paradise Lucienne Braconnier
Absolutely Fabulous Edith "Eddie" Mousson
2002 The Race Madame Jo
2003 That Woman Michèle Varin Nominated - César Award for Best Actress
2004 Madame Édouard Nina Tchitchi
2005 The Ex-Wife of My Life Marie-Pierre Sarrazin
It's Our Life! Blanche Delhomme
I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed Marguerite Duras
2006 French Fried Vacation 3 Nathalie Morin
David Nolande Sofia TV series (1 Episode)
2007 The Red Inn Rose Martin
The Key Michèle Varin
2008 A French Gigolo Irène
Ruby Blue Stéphanie
A Day at the Museum Mother in Chanel
Françoise Dolto, le désir de vivre Françoise Dolto TV movie
2009 The Hedgehog Renée Michel Nominated - Women Film Critics Circle for Courage in Acting Award
Park Benches Solange Renivelle
Neuilly Yo Mama! School's director
2010 Holiday Christiane Mercier
2011 A Happy Event Claire
Beur sur la ville Mamie Nova
2012 Sport de filles Joséphine de Silène
Maman Paulette Mine
Mes héros Olga
2013 Demi-soeur Antoinette Novack
2014 Aunt Hilda! Dolorès
Les Gazelles Brigitte
The law of Barbara Barbara Malo TV Mini-Series
2015 The Roommates Party Alexandra Leclère
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Josiane / Sarah TV series (1 Episode)
2016 Back to Mom's Jacqueline Mazerin
Arrête ton cinéma Brigitte
Joséphine, Pregnant & Fabulous Josephine's mother
Par tous les seins Voice Short
2017 Let the Sunshine In Maxime
The New Adventures of Cinderella Josépha
2018 Bécassine Mademoiselle Châtaigne
Volontaire Muriel Baer
J'ai perdu Albert Simone Le Couidec
Neuilly sa mère, sa mère ! Madame Bachelot
2019 All Inclusive Lulu
Les envoûtés Leonora Evesco
Beaux-parents Coline Rossi
15 Minutes of War Michèle Sampieri
By the Grace of God Irène Thomassin Nominated - César Award for Best Supporting Actress
Vous êtes jeunes vous êtes beaux Mona
Le Bazar de la Charité Madame Huchon TV Mini-Series
2020 L'esprit de famille Marguerite
La pièce rapportée Adélaïde Château-Têtard
2021 Tralala Lili Rivière
C'est la vie Dominique
Mes très chers enfants Chantal Blanc
Un tour chez ma fille... Jacqueline Mazerin
2023 Des mains en or Martha
2024 Captives Bobotte Post-Production
Quand vient l'automne Filming


Year Title Notes
1985 Sac de noeuds
1987 Les keufs
1991 My Life Is Hell
1995 French Twist César Award for Best Writing
Palm Springs International Film Festival - Best Foreign Language Film
Lumières Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Nominated - César Award for Best Film
Nominated - César Award for Best Director
Nominated - GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release
Nominated - Festival du Film Francophone - Film in Competition
1998 Un grand cri d'amour
2005 L'Ex-femme de ma vie
2008 Cliente Nominated - Sundance Film Festival for Grand Jury Prize : World Cinema Dramatic
Nominated - Rome Film Festival for Golden Marc'Aurelio Award
Nominated - City of Lights, City of Angels - In Competition Nominated - Hublot d'Or - Best Adaptation
Nominated - Young Public Award - Best Adaptation
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Comedy Film
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Actress
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Screenplay
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Direction
Nominated - Festival du Film Francophone - Film in Competition
2013 Demi-soeur


Movies starring or featuring Josiane Balasko with more than one million tickets sold at movie theatres in France.

Films Year France (entries)
1 Les Bronzés 3: Amis pour la vie 2006 10,355,930
2 Papy fait de la résistance 1983 4,104,082
3 French Twist 1995 3,990,094
4 Animal 1977 3,157,789
5 Le Maître d'école 1981 3,015,596
6 Didier 1997 2,902,960
7 La vengeance du serpent à plumes 1984 2,663,303
8 Neuilly sa mère! 2009 2,517,140
9 Les Bronzés 1978 2,308,644
10 Back to Mom's 2016 2,198,341
11 Les Frères Pétard 1986 2,179,370
12 A Crime in Paradise 2001 2,137,829
13 Pardon Mon Affaire, Too! 1977 2,080,789
14 Too Beautiful for You 1989 2,031,131
15 Grosse fatigue 1994 2,015,230
16 Les hommes préfèrent les grosses 1981 1,931,038
17 Le Père Noël est une ordure 1982 1,582,732
18 Les Bronzés font du ski 1979 1,535,781
19 The Race 2002 1,456,267
20 Nuit d'ivresse 1986 1,381,464
21 Absolument fabuleux 2001 1,370,394
22 My Life Is Hell 1991 1,170,523
23 The Roommates Party 2015 1,169,659
24 Neuilly sa mère, sa mère! 2018 1,144,597
25 Signes extérieurs de richesse 1983 1,074,802
26 Les Keufs 1987 1,071,467


As actress[edit]

Year Title Author Director
1970 La pipelette ne pipa pas Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1971-74 Quand j'srai grande, j'srai paranoïaque Josiane Balasko Vera Gregh
1972-74 Jeanne l'ébouriffée Catherine Dasté Catherine Dasté
1975 Silence là-dedans Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1976 Le Pot de terre contre le pot de vin Le Splendid Le Splendid
1976-77 Ginette Lacaze Coluche Coluche
Amour, coquillages et crustacés Le Splendid Le Splendid
1978-80 Bunny's bar Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1979-80 Le Père Noël est une ordure Le Splendid Le Splendid
1985–86 Nuit d'ivresse Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1988-89 L'Ex-femme de ma vie Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1992-94 Shirley Valentine Willy Russell Josiane Balasko
1995–97 Un grand cri d'amour Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2005-07 Dernier rappel Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2010–12 La nuit sera chaude Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2014–15 Un grand moment de solitude Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2016–18 The Woman Destroyed Simone de Beauvoir Hélène Fillières
2021-24 Un chalet à Gstaad Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Charts - LES ENTREES EN FRANCE - JPBox-Office".
  2. ^ "Charts - LES ENTREES EN FRANCE - JPBox-Office".
  3. ^ "Les Bronzés font du ski (1979) - JPBox-Office".
  4. ^ "Les Hommes préfèrent les grosses (1981) - JPBox-Office".
  5. ^ "Charts - LES ENTREES EN FRANCE - JPBox-Office".
  6. ^ "Le Père Noël est une ordure (1982) - JPBox-Office".
  7. ^ "Charts - LES ENTREES EN FRANCE - JPBox-Office".
  8. ^ "Signes extérieurs de richesse (1983) - JPBox-Office".
  9. ^ "La Vengeance du serpent à plumes (1984) - JPBox-Office".
  10. ^ "Le Festival International du Film de Comédie de Liège 2018, c'est parti !". 6 November 2018.

External links[edit]