Georges Simenon was a Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels during his illustrious career that spanned several years. Simenon is credited with creating one of the most popular fictional detectives of all time, Jules Maigret. A self-proclaimed Casanova, Simenon claimed in 1977 to have had sex with 10,000 women since his 13th birthday.
American-born New Zealand-Belgian author Christine Leunens is best known for her bestselling novels such as Primordial Soup and Caging Skies, with the latter inspiring the critically acclaimed movie Jojo Rabbit. Interestingly, she had initially worked as a print model to fund her first book. She has also been a screenwriter.
Peyo was a Belgian artist and comic book writer best remembered for creating popular comics series like Johan and Peewit and The Smurfs. He is also credited with creating several other comics series like Jacky and Célestin and Steven Strong. Peyo also founded his own publishing house called Cartoon Creation.
Johan Heldenbergh is a Belgian actor, screenwriter, film director, theatre director, and playwright. Over the years, Heldenbergh has achieved international fame by starring in popular films like The Misfortunates, The Broken Circle Breakdown, and The Zookeeper's Wife.
Julien Schoenaerts was a Flemish actor who is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of post-war Flanders and the Netherlands. In 2008, sculptor Wilfried Pas unveiled a statue of the actor on the Kerkstraat in Antwerp. Julien Schoenaerts is also known as the father of Matthias Schoenaerts.
Eric Godon is a Belgian actor, writer, and director. Godon discovered his passion for acting in his late-30s prior to which he had taken up various jobs in different fields. After making his acting debut at the age of 41, Eric Godon has been a part of many French and Belgian movies.
André Franquin was a Belgian comic book artist best remembered for creating popular characters like Marsupilami and Gaston. An influential comic book artist, Franquin's works have had huge impact on the works of Francisco Ibáñez and Ramón María Casanyes. André Franquin was a recipient of many prestigious awards such as Adamson Award and Grand Prix for the Graphic Arts.
Fernand Khnopff was a Belgian painter whose works gained him recognition and helped achieve a cult status during his lifetime. He was honored with the prestigious Order of Leopold for his immense contribution to Symbolism.
Marcel Broodthaers was primarily a poet till 40, after which he focused on visual arts. One of his exhibitions showcased copies of his book Pense-Bête, encased in plaster. Over the years, he experimented with painting, printmaking, and film, too. He also headed the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles.
Bestselling Belgian author, painter, and filmmaker Hugo Claus penned a wide range of literary gems, including poems, novels, and plays, and rose to be one of his country’s finest literary figures. Known for his masterpiece The Sorrow of Belgium, the author chose to be euthanized after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Noël Godin is a Belgian writer, actor, and critic. A notorious pie thrower, Godin achieved international fame in 1998 when he surprised Bill Gates in Brussels by throwing a pie on the software magnate. Noël Godin is credited with popularizing the so called pie attacks in Belgium.
Morris was a Belgian cartoonist and illustrator who created a popular comic series titled Lucky Luke, which remained a bestselling series for over five decades. The comic series was also translated into 23 languages. Morris is often ranked amongst the Greatest Belgians of all time.
Dominique Abel is a Belgian actor, writer, and director. He is best known for his collaboration with his wife Fiona Gordon; they work together as a writing and directing team. Some of their films, such as The Fairy and Lost in Paris, have received critical acclaim and nominations at the Magritte Awards.
Dutch painter and poet Karel van Mander was a significant part of the Mannerist movement. Best known for his Het Schilder-boeck, or The Book of Painters, a biographical work on artists and painters of northern Europe, he was patronized by the Haarlem city council.
Belgian romantic novelist Hendrik Conscience was one of the pioneers of the Flemish novel. Best remembered for his historical fiction The Lion of Flanders, he had also penned tales on urban and rural life. He had also been a local politician, a museum curator, and a district commissioner.
Dutch poet Philips of Marnix is best remembered for his translation of the Psalms. He managed to anger the Roman Catholics with his works such as The Beehive of the Roman Catholic Church and thus spent a year as a prisoner. It’s believed that he wrote the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe.
A Belgian-Canadian singer, writer and record producer, Rick Alison is known for his musical collaborations with one of the bestselling Belgian artists, Lara Fabian. The two together gave hit albums like Carpe Diem, Pure and Nue. He is also known for producing singer Chimène Badi's debut album Entre nous and composing songs for various other French and French-Canadian singers.
Christian Dotremont was a Belgian poet and painter best remembered for founding the Revolutionary Surrealist Group in 1946. He is also credited with co-founding an influential European avant-garde movement called COBRA. Christian Dotremont is also remembered for his painted poems which he called logograms.
Belgian poet and graphic artist Sophie Podolski is best known for her only published book during her lifetime, Le pays où tout est permis. A patient of schizophrenia, she had been to psychiatric clinics and had issues with drugs. She eventually tried committing suicide and died 10 days later.
Felix Timmermans was a Belgian author whose works earned him three nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature over the course of his illustrious career. A versatile writer, Timmermans wrote plays, religious works, historical novels, and poems. He was also a drawer and painter. Felix Timmermans is also one of the most translated authors from Flanders.