Famous Belgian People

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 1 
Max Verstappen
(Belgian-Dutch Motorsports Racing Driver)
Max Verstappen
73
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 30, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hasselt

Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing competes under the Dutch flag in Formula One. He made his first entry at 2015 Australian Grand Prix. Son of former Formula One racing-driver Jos Verstappen, Max has emerged as the most successful Dutch driver who has scored most career points, won a Formula One World Championship in 2021 and achieved a pole position.  

 2 
Gotye
(Founding Member of The Melbourne Indie-Pop Trio 'The Basics')
Gotye
29
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bruges
Belgian-born Australian singer Gotye initially formed the indie-pop group The Basics. The three-time Grammy-winning artist has also had a successful solo career and is best known for his Billboard-topping track Somebody That I Used to Know, which made him the fifth Australian artist to top the Billboard charts.
 3 
Lance Stroll
(Canadian-Belgian Motorsport Racer Who Competes for Canada in Formula One)
Lance Stroll
20
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 29, 1998
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal

The son of Canadian business tycoon Lawrence Stroll and Belgian designer Claire-Anne Callens, Lance Stroll began his motorsport career with karting at age 10. He became F1’s youngest rookie podium finisher at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. His achievements include wins at the 2014 Italian F4 and the 2016 FIA European Formula 3.

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 4 
Rene Magritte
(Belgian Surrealist Artist, Who Became Well Known for Creating a Number of Witty and Thought-Provoking Images)
Rene Magritte
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lessines
Died: August 15, 1967
Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte is remembered for his art that displayed alternate perceptions of reality. His creations were influenced by elements of pop art and minimalist art. Some of his most notable works were The Empire of Light and Les Amants. The Magritte Museum is dedicated to his work.
 5 
Peter Paul Rubens
(One of the Most Influential Artists of the Flemish Baroque Tradition)
Peter Paul Rubens
13
Birthdate: June 28, 1577
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Siegen
Died: May 30, 1640

Peter Paul Rubens is considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque tradition. He lived during the Dutch Golden Age. His style of art emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He painted altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings and also drew cartoons for the Flemish tapestry workshops. He was a classically educated humanist scholar as well.

 6 
Romelu Lukaku
(Belgian Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Striker)
Romelu Lukaku
88
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 13, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp

Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian football player, is known for his goal-scoring abilities. He plays in the forward position and can also play as a winger. He has scored more than 50 international goals while playing for the men’s national team of Belgium. Inter Milan, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Manchester United are some of the clubs he has played for.

 7 
Jean-Claude Van Damme
(Actor Who is Best Known for His Martial Arts Action Movies ‘Bloodsport’, ‘Cyborg’ and ‘Kickboxer’)
Jean-Claude Van Damme
72
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sint-Agatha-Berchem

Belgian actor,Jean-Claude Van Damme is best known for a string of martial arts films. He started his career as a karate fighter and competed in a number full-contact and semi-contact matches. Later he took up acting and became a star with the 1988 Hollywood film, Bloodsport. Cyborg, Lionheart, Double Impact and Universal Soldier are some of his notable films.

 8 
Eden Hazard
(Belgian Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Winger /Attacking Midfielder)
Eden Hazard
80
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: La Louvière

One of the best Belgian footballers of all time, Eden Hazard is also regarded as one of the best players of the current generation. Thanks to his ability to retain possession among other footballing skills, Hazard is often compared with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

 9 
Kevin De Bruyne
(Belgian Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Kevin De Bruyne
48
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Drongen

Often described as a complete football player, Kevin De Bruyne is also widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation. Over the years, he has had a major impact on the Manchester City Football Club, helping his team win several games. He is also a key player for the Belgian national football team.

 10 
Thibaut Courtois
(Belgian Football Goalkeeper)
Thibaut Courtois
32
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 11, 1992
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bree

Belgian footballer Thibaut Courtois who is a goalkeeper for the Spanish club Real Madrid is considered one of the best of his time. Starting his career with Genk, he later also played for Chelsea. He was also part of the FIFA World Cup third place-holding Belgian squad in 2018.

 11 
Vincent Kompany
(Retired Belgian Football Centre-Back)
Vincent Kompany
17
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 10, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Uccle

Considered one of the fittest central defenders of the world, retired Belgian footballer Vincent Kompany had a successful stint with Manchester City, winning 4 Premier League titles, among other championships, with them. Post-retirement, the star footballer had turned to coaching and now manages the English club Burnley.

 12 
Stromae
(Rapper)
Stromae
29
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 12, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Etterbeek

Stromae is a Belgian musician, singer, songwriter, and rapper. He achieved popularity with the release of his song Alors on danse in 2009, which topped several music charts in many European countries. He has won several prestigious awards, such as the World Music Awards. Stromae is often promoted as the face of the New Beat generation.

 13 
Diane von Fürstenberg
(Fashion designer)
Diane von Fürstenberg
6
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: December 31, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels
 14 
Leopold II of Belgium
(Former King of the Belgians (1865 - 1909))
Leopold II of Belgium
34
Birthdate: April 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: December 17, 1909

Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.

 15 
Justine Henin
(Retired Belgian Tennis Legend Who Was a World Number 1 in Singles)
Justine Henin
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 1, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Liège

Known as the Female Federer, Belgian tennis legend Justine Henin is a former world number 1 in singles. Apart from winning an Olympic gold medal, she also won Belgium its first Fed Cup title and won 7 Grand Slam titles. She was one of those rare female players who used a single-handed backhand.

 16 
Kim Clijsters
(Belgian Tennis Legend and a Former World Number One in Both Singles and Doubles)
Kim Clijsters
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 8, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bilzen

Belgian tennis legend Kim Clijsters is a former world number 1 in both singles and doubles. The 4-time Grand Slam winner retired thrice in her career, in 2007, in 2012, and eventually, for good, in 2020. She has also been associated with charitable initiatives and has founded Ten4Kim to help financially weak junior players.

 17 
Matthias Schoenaerts
(Belgian Actor Best Known for His Role as ‘Jacky Vanmarsenille’ in the Film ‘Bullhead')
Matthias Schoenaerts
5
Birthdate: December 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Antwerp

A Belgian actor, film producer and graffiti artist, Matthias Schoenaerts debuted at the age of 13 and attained star status with his 2008 film Loft. Later, his films Bullhead and Rust and Bone further increased his fame and brought him multiple awards. In 2015, the French Ministry of Culture named him the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. 

 18 
Jacques Brel
(Actor & One of the Best-Selling Belgian Recording Artists of All Time)
Jacques Brel
13
Birthdate: April 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Schaerbeek
Died: October 9, 1978

Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer, actor, director, and songwriter. He is remembered for composing and performing thoughtful, literate, and theatrical songs. Apart from inspiring French musicians, Brel's works have also had a major influence on English-speaking performers like David Bowie, Scott Walker, Rod McKuen, Marc Almond, and Alex Harvey. Brel is the third-best-selling Belgian music artist of all time.

 19 
Eddy Merckx
(Belgian Former Professional Road and Track Bicycle Racer)
Eddy Merckx
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Meensel-Kiezegem

Eddy Merckx is a Belgian former road and track bicycle racer. Widely regarded as the most successful rider in competitive cycling history, Merckx achieved several important victories, such as 11 Grand Tours, three World Championships, and all five Monuments. He is also considered the greatest cyclist of all time. After retiring, he coached his national cycling team for 11 years.

 20 
Charles Martel
(Military Leader)
Charles Martel
15
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0686 AD
Birthplace: Herstal
Died: October 22, 0741

Charles Martel was a Frankish military leader and statesman. From 718 until his death in 741, Martel served as the de facto ruler of Francia. He is credited with restoring centralized government in Francia and re-establishing the Franks as the masters of all Gaul through a series of military campaigns.

 21 
Hergé
(Cartoonist (Creator of Tintin))
Hergé
5
Birthdate: May 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Etterbeek
Died: March 3, 1983

Better known by his pseudonym, Hergé, Belgian cartoonist Georges Prosper Remi was the man behind Tintin, a cartoon series that several generations of kids and young adults have grown up reading. He was a self-taught artist and wrote Destination Moon, featuring Tintin, 15 years before Neil Armstrong’s feat.

 22 
Joanna of Castile
(Former Queen of Castile (1504 - 1555))
Joanna of Castile
6
Birthdate: November 6, 1479
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toledo
Died: April 12, 1555
Joanna, the 16th-century queen of Castile and Aragon, also known as "Joanna the Mad," was declared insane and locked up at the Royal Convent of Santa Clara by her father. Following her father’s death, she nominally co-ruled the kingdom with her son, Charles I, but remained imprisoned till her death.
 23 
Toby Alderweireld
(Belgian Football Defender)
Toby Alderweireld
16
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antwerp

Belgian footballer Toby Alderweireld is best known as a defender for Royal Antwerp. Starting his senior career with Ajax, he later also had successful stints with clubs such as Atlético Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. He was also part of the Belgian squads that played at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup games.

 24 
Youri Tielemans
(Belgian Professional Football Midfielder)
Youri Tielemans
32
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sint-Pieters-Leeuw

Belgian professional football-midfielder Youri Tielemans plays for the Belgium national team and Leicester City. His achievements so far include winning Belgian First Division A (2013–14, 2016–17) with Anderlecht and FA Cup (2020–21) with Leicester City; and becoming Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year (2016–17). He represented Belgium during 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020.

 25 
Jan Vertonghen
(Belgian Football Central Defender)
Jan Vertonghen
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 24, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sint-Niklaas

Belgian footballer Jan Vertonghen is best known as a central defender for the club Anderlecht. Starting his senior career with the club Ajax, he has also had successful stints with Tottenham Hotspur and Benfica. He was part of the FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Belgian team in 2018.

 26 
Andreas Vesalius
(Founding Father of the Modern Human Anatomy)
Andreas Vesalius
6
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: December 31, 1514
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: October 15, 1564

Renaissance physician Andreas Vesalius is credited with illustrating the first anatomy textbook. Born into a family of physicians, he studied at the University of Paris medical school and often dissected corpses retrieved from cemeteries. He was the first to reject Galenic anatomy and to introduce human dissection in anatomy.

 27 
Leopold I of Belgium
(First King of the Belgians (1831 - 1865))
Leopold I of Belgium
7
Birthdate: December 16, 1790
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Coburg
Died: December 10, 1865
Leopold I, the youngest son of Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was the first king of Belgium and reigned from 1831 to 1865. He fought against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. He rejected the throne of Greece. His reign is known for establishing Belgium's first railway and for its modernization.
 28 
Georges Lemaître
(Scientist & Priest)
Georges Lemaître
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 17, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Charleroi
Died: June 20, 1966

Georges Lemaître was a mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics. Lemaître was the first person to theorize that the expansion of the universe can be used to explain the recession of nearby galaxies. In 1927, Lemaître published the first estimation of the Hubble constant. He also came up with the Big Bang theory to explain the origin of the universe.

 29 
Adolphe Sax
(Inventor of Saxophone)
Adolphe Sax
5
Birthdate: November 6, 1814
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dinant
Died: February 7, 1894

The inventor of the saxophone, Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, was born to instrument-maker parents who had themselves re-designed the French horn. As a child, he was known as "the ghost" for his frequent brushes with death. He made many other instruments, which were included in the French army bands.

 30 
Divock Origi
(Belgian Professional Football Forward)
Divock Origi
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 18, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ostend

Belgian professional football-forward Divock Origi plays for Belgium and AC Milan. During his eight-year tenure with Liverpool, he achieved several feats with the club including winning 2019–20 Premier League and the club’s first FIFA Club World Cup title (2019). He played for Belgium during 2014 FIFA World Cup, and became the youngest goal-scorer in the country’s World Cup history.

 31 
Adnan Januzaj
(Belgian Footballer Who Plays as a Winger)
Adnan Januzaj
15
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 5, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brussels

Adnan Januzaj is a Belgian football player who plays for the Belgium national team as a midfielder. In 2018, he helped his national team win the bronze medal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Adnan Januzaj is also currently a part of the Sevilla Fútbol Club.

 32 
Philip I of Castile
(King of Castile)
Philip I of Castile
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1478
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bruges
Died: September 25, 1506

Philip the Handsome, son of Roman emperor Maximilian I, served as the Duke of Burgundy from 1482 to 1506 and then as the first Habsburg King of Castile, as Philip I, in 1506. Also known as the Fair, Philip died of typhoid fever in September 1506, although many suspected poisoning.

 33 
Moncef Slaoui
(Moroccan-Born Belgian-American Scientist Who Led Operation Warp Speed)
Moncef Slaoui
5
Birthdate: July 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Agadir

Moroccan-born scientist Moncef Slaoui completed his doctoral studies in Belgium and the moved to the US for further research at Harvard. In his career of almost 3 decades at GlaxoSmithKline, he oversaw the development of many vaccines. He later headed Operation Warp Speed, the US government’s initiative to develop COVID-19 vaccines.

 34 
Lara Fabian
(One of the Best-Selling Belgian Female Artists of All Time)
Lara Fabian
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 9, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Etterbeek

Lara Fabian is a Canadian-Belgian musician, singer, songwriter, and actress. One of the best-selling Belgian music artists ever, Fabian has sold more than 20 million records all over the world. Over the course of her career, she has won many prestigious awards, such as Félix Awards and World Music Awards.

 35 
Albert I of Belgium
(Former King of the Belgians (1909 - 1934))
Albert I of Belgium
11
Birthdate: April 8, 1875
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: February 17, 1934

Albert I of Belgium ruled as King of the Belgians for over 25 years from 1909 to 1934. He played a crucial role during World War I, for which he is often referred to as the Soldier King or Knight King in Belgium. A renowned alpinist, Albert died in a mountaineering accident and his death was mourned around the world.

 36 
Andreas Pereira
(Belgian-Born Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder for Brazil)
Andreas Pereira
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 1, 1996
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Duffel

The son of Brazilian footballer Marcos Pereira, Andreas Pereira is a fine midfielder in his own right and plays for Fulham. The Belgian-born footballer started his senior career with the club Manchester United. While he initially represented the youth teams of both Belgium and Brazil, he later joined the Brazilian senior national team.

 37 
Mousa Dembélé
(Retired Belgian Football Midfielder)
Mousa Dembélé
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 16, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wilrijk

Retired Belgian footballer Mousa Dembélé was best known as a central midfielder for clubs such as Fulham, AZ, and Tottenham Hotspur. He has also played for the Chinese club Guangzhou City and been part of the FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Belgian team in 2018.

 38 
Dries Mertens
(Belgian Professional Football Striker)
Dries Mertens
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 6, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leuven

Belgian footballer Dries Mertens, also known as Ciro, is a striker/winger for the Turkish club Galatasaray. Starting his senior career with Gent, he has also represented the Italian club Napoli and the Dutch club Utrecht. He was also part of the FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Belgian squad of 2018.

 39 
Baudouin of Belgium
(King of the Belgians (1951 - 1993))
Baudouin of Belgium
2
Birthdate: September 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Château du Stuyvenberg
Died: July 31, 1993

The elder son of King Leopold III of Belgium, Baudouin ruled Belgium for over 4 decades. He is remembered for his impartial treatment of both the Flemish- and French-speaking Belgian factions. He also served as the sovereign of the Belgian Congo and later supported Congolese independence.

 40 
Yannick Carrasco
(Belgian Football Winger and Wing-Back)
Yannick Carrasco
16
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 4, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vilvoorde

Belgian football winger and wing-back Yannick Ferreira Carrasco plays for the Belgium national team and Atlético Madrid. His achievements so far include winning Ligue 2 (2012–13) with Monaco; and La Liga (2020–21) and UEFA Europa League (2017–18) with Atlético Madrid. He played for Belgium national team during UEFA European Championship (2016, 2020) and 2018 FIFA World Cup.

 41 
Abraham Ortelius
(Flemish Cartographer Who Created the World's First Modern Atlas)
Abraham Ortelius
1
Birthdate: April 14, 1527
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp
Died: June 28, 1598

Flemish cartographer of the 16th century, Abraham Ortelius is remembered as the person who created Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the world’s first modern atlas. Starting his career as an engraver, he later switched to map-making. He also served as Spanish king Philip II’s official geographer and proposed the idea of continental drift.

 42 
Cécile de France
(Belgian Actress Known for Her Lead Role in the Films: 'High Tension' and 'Hereafter')
Cécile de France
1
Birthdate: July 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Namur

Cécile de France is a Belgian actress who achieved international prominence for her performance in films like High Tension and Hereafter. One of the most celebrated and popular Belgian actresses of her generation, Cécile de France has won many prestigious awards including two César Awards and multiple Magritte Award nominations.

 43 
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
(Princess)
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 25, 2001
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Anderlecht
 44 
Eline Powell
(Actress)
Eline Powell
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leuven

Eline Powell is a Belgian actress who achieved international recognition in 2018 when she was cast to play the title role in the American fantasy drama TV series Siren which ran from 2018 to 2020. Eline Powell has also appeared in other popular TV series like Game of Thrones. 

 45 
Raf Simons
(Belgian Fashion Designer)
Raf Simons
0
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: January 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neerpelt

Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons initially gained fame as a furniture designer and later established his own menswear label. Inspired by music and arts, his label has gradually turned its focus to simple silhouettes. He has also been associated with Dior and is now the co-creative director of Prada.

 46 
Anthony van Dyck
(Flemish Baroque Artist)
Anthony van Dyck
4
Birthdate: March 22, 1599
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp
Died: December 9, 1641

Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who started painting at an early age before going on to become the leading court painter in England. Although he is best remembered for painting the aristocracy, van Dyck also painted biblical and mythological subjects. In 1632, Anthony van Dyck received a knighthood from Charles I.

 47 
Joseph Plateau
(Belgian Physicist & Mathematician - One of the First People to Demonstrate the Illusion of a Moving Image)
Joseph Plateau
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: October 14, 1801
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: September 15, 1883

Belgian physicist and mathematician Joseph Plateau was a pioneer of the modern animation and movie industry, as he invented the phenakistiscope, the world’s first device to create an illusion of motion through images. He also laid down the structure of soap films through Plateau's laws.

 48 
Jacky Ickx
(Belgian Retired Racing Driver)
Jacky Ickx
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 1, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels

Jacky Ickx is a Belgian retired racing driver best known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans on six occasions. He also achieved 25 podium finishes and eight wins in F1. Jacky Ickx is also known for his association with Scuderia Ferrari as he was the leading driver for the team for several seasons in the 1960s and 1970s.

 49 
Mary of Burgundy
(Former Duchess of Burgundy (1477 - 1482))
Mary of Burgundy
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 13, 1457
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: March 27, 1482

As Charles the Bold’s daughter, Mary of Burgundy, was also known as Mary the Rich, for her affluence. While she had a fairy-tale marriage with Archduke Maximilian of Austria and had two children, she died abruptly at age 25, after being thrown from her horse during a hunting trip.

 50 
Chantal Akerman
(Belgian Film Director Best Known for Her Art-House Film 'Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles')
Chantal Akerman
4
Birthdate: June 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: October 5, 2015

Chantal Akerman was a Belgian screenwriter, film director, and artist. she also served at the City College of New York as a film professor. Best known for her work in the 1975 arthouse film Jeanne Dielman, which was described as a masterpiece by The New York Times, Chantal Akerman had a profound influence on avant-garde cinema.