Famous French Women

What come to your mind when you think of a French woman? Classy, chic and fashionable are the words we normally associate with the French ladies, and why not? Bestowed with natural beauty and grace, the French woman carries herself with an air of restrained dignity and sophistication. France has always been the cultural hub of Europe and French women along with their male counterparts have made great contributions to the cultural and literary movements. Simone de Beauvoir, the Existential philosopher, writer, political activist and feminist was one such French woman who influenced the world of literature and philosophy in ways more than one. Marquise de Sévigné, a French aristocrat is considered to be an icon of French literature.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite French Women

 1 
Marie Curie
(Physicist)

Marie Curie
72
Birthdate: November 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1934
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.

 2 
Eva Green
(Actress)

Eva Green
21
Birthdate: July 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

French actress, Eva Green, gained instant fame in 2003 with her first film The Dreamers, directed by the eminent Bernardo Bertolucci. Subsequently she went on to act in a number of notable films like Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale, Dark Shadows, Home for Peculiar Children, Franklyn, Cracks and Proxima. She has also acted in television series like Penny Dreadful and Luminaries.

 3 
Léa Seydoux
(Actress)

Léa Seydoux
32
Birthdate: July 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Passy, Paris, France

Léa Seydoux is a critically acclaimed French actress who gained international recognition after playing a Bond girl in Spectre. Also known for her modeling career, Seydoux has posed for popular magazines, such as Vogue, L'Officiel, and Numéro. She became the face of Prada's 2013 and 2014 campaign for its fragrances.

Recommended Lists:

 4 
Coco Chanel
(Fashion designer)

Coco Chanel
22
Birthdate: August 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saumur, France
Died: January 10, 1971

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is credited with replacing the corseted silhouette as the feminine standard of style with a sporty, casual chic. Her work as a designer redefined the fashionable woman in the era post World War I. She also played a vital role in revolutionizing jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.

 5 

Marion Cotillard
14
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Marion Cotillard delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, becoming the first to win the award for a French-language film. She was appreciated for her iconic role of Joan of Arc on stage. She has promoted Lady Dior bags and Chanel No. 5 fragrance.

 6 

Olga Kurylenko
45
Birthdate: November 14, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berdyans'k, Ukraine

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian-French model and actress. She gained international recognition after playing a Bond girl in the 2008 film Quantum of Solace. Olga Kurylenko serves as an inspiration to many young girls as she overcame her difficult childhood to become the face of popular brands like Clarins and Bebe.

 7 
Vanessa Paradis
(Best Known for Her Single "Joe le taxi")

Vanessa Paradis
13
Birthdate: December 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France

French singer and actress, Vanessa Paradis, became a celebrity at the age of 14 with the French song Joe le taxi in 1987. She tasted further success with English songs like Be My Baby and many other French songs. She has also acted in several French films and has modelled regularly for high-end fashion products by Chanel like perfume and handbags.

You May Like

 8 
Catherine de' Medici
(Queen of France (1547-1559))

Catherine de' Medici
7
Birthdate: April 13, 1519
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 5, 1589

Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who played a key role in the political affairs of France during the rule of her sons, a period which came to be known as the age of Catherine de' Medici. Catherine is credited with saving the monarchy from deposition during the French Wars of Religion

 9 
Brigitte Bardot
(Actress, Activist)

Brigitte Bardot
7
Birthdate: September 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Brigitte Bardot is a French former singer and actress. One of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, Bardot remains a major pop culture icon despite quitting the entertainment industry in 1973. Bardot is credited with popularizing the bikini. She also popularized the town of Armação dos Búzios and the city of St. Tropez in Brazil.

 10 
Josephine Baker
(Entertainer)

Josephine Baker
14
Birthdate: June 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 12, 1975
Nicknamed Black Pearl and Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to appear in a motion picture. She was a revue dancer, famous for her signature banana costume. A civil rights activist, she helped the French military during World War II. She adopted 12 children of different ethnicities.

 11 
Edith Piaf
(Singer)

Edith Piaf
11
Birthdate: December 19, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 11, 1963
France’s legendary singer and actor Édith Piaf, or the “Little Sparrow,” is best remembered for her iconic Grammy Hall of Fame-inducted song La Vie en Rose and the classic Non, je ne regrette rien. Raised by the prostitutes of her grandmother’s brothel, she began her life as a street singer.

 12 
Mélanie Laurent
(Best Known for Her Roles in 'Inglourious Basterds' 'Now You See Me' and '6 Underground')

Mélanie Laurent
6
Birthdate: February 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

French actor Mélanie Laurent shot to fame with her Étoiles d'Or-winning role in Dikkenek and her César Award-winning performance in Don't Worry, I'm Fine. She made her Hollywood debut with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and was also seen in Now You See Me. She has also released a music album.

 13 
Charlotte Gainsbourg
(Known for Her Work in Films Like 'Antichrist,' 'Melancholia,' 'The Tree' & 'Persecution')

Charlotte Gainsbourg
4
Birthdate: July 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of French singer Serge Gainsbourg and English actor Jane Birkin, made her singing debut at age 12. She is best known for her César Award-winning roles in La Bûche and An Impudent Girl. Her performance in Antichrist won her an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

 14 
Kristin Scott Thomas
(Character actor, Stage actor, Film actor)

Kristin Scott Thomas
6
Birthdate: May 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Redruth

 15 

Sophie Marceau
6
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Sophie Marceau is best known for her César Award-winning performance in the French comedy La Boum 2. She has also appeared in English films such as Braveheart, Firelight, and The World Is Not Enough. She has written a novel, is a trained cellist, and has delivered an award-winning directorial debut.

 16 
Eleanor of Aquitaine
(Queen of France (1137-1152))

Eleanor of Aquitaine
4
Birthdate: 1122 AD
Birthplace: France
Died: April 1, 1204
Eleanor, the duchess of Aquitaine, became the queen of France after marrying King Louis VII. Their marriage was annulled later. She then married the Duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England. Eleanor was imprisoned for supporting a revolt against Henry, and was freed after his death.

 17 
Simone de Beauvoir
(Best-Known Work is The 'Second Sex', a Classic of Contemporary Feminist Literature)

Simone de Beauvoir
10
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.

 18 

Catherine Deneuve
7
Birthdate: October 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

French actress Catherine Deneuve is considered one of the greatest European actresses. Beginning her career at the age of 12, she gained international prominence with her role in the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She is a 14-time César Award nominee and the recipient of a David di Donatello award. She is multilingual and speaks fluent French, Italian, and English.

Recommended Lists:

 19 
Marie Antoinette
(Queen of France (1774-1792))

Marie Antoinette
27
Birthdate: November 2, 1755
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: The Hofburg, Vienna, Austria
Died: October 16, 1793
The last queen of France before the French Revolution started, Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVI of France and came to be linked with everything that was wrong with the French monarchy including ignorance and extravagance. Her policies aggravated unrest that eventually led to the abolishment of the monarchy and finally the execution of both king and queen.

 20 

Joan of Arc
48
Birthdate: January 6, 1412
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France
Died: May 30, 1431

Considered a great saint and a symbol of French unity, Joan of Arc led the French army to the watershed victory over the English forces in Orleans in 1429. In 1430, she was captured by the Anglo-Burgundians while defending Compiegne. She was burned at the stake at the age of 19 in 1431. Pope Benedict XV canonised her in 1920.

 21 

Lily-Rose Depp
65
Birthdate: May 7, 1999
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France

Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of famous American actor Johnny Depp and popular French singer and model Vanessa Paradis. Lily-Rose followed in her parents' footsteps to become active in the entertainment industry. Despite suffering from anorexia in the past, Lily-Rose Depp has managed to establish herself as an actress in Hollywood.

 22 
Audrey Tautou
(Actress)

Audrey Tautou
4
Birthdate: August 9, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beaumont, France
French actor Audrey Tautou is best known for her stellar performances in films such as Amelie and The Da Vinci Code. She played Coco Chanel in the biopic Coco Before Chanel. Tautou is also a fashion icon, popularly known as “The Chanel Muse,” and has modeled for top-notch fashion magazines.

 23 
Emma Mackey
(Actress)

Emma Mackey
30
Birthdate: January 4, 1996
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Mans, France

French-British actor Emma Mackey is best known for her portrayal of Maeve Wiley in the Netflix series Sex Education. Some of her upcoming projects include Emily Brontë’s biopic and the thriller Death on the Nile. She has also appeared in the TV projects Badger Lane and Summit Fever.

 24 
Jane Birkin
(Singer, songwriter and actress)

Jane Birkin
4
Birthdate: December 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England

 25 

Juliette Binoche
8
Birthdate: March 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
French actor Juliette Binoche began her career with stage productions. She soared to fame with her Academy Award-winning role of Hana in The English Patient and her Academy Award-nominated role of Vianne in Chocolat. She has also been a marked political activist and has supported the Cambodian charity Enfants d'Asie.

 26 
Jeanne Calment
(Oldest Person Ever)

Jeanne Calment
5
Birthdate: February 21, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Arles
Died: August 4, 1997
Jeanne Calment was a French supercentenarian who lived till 122 years and was, till her death in 1997, the longest-living documented human in history. She attributed her longevity to olive oil, wine, and chocolate. Some experts believe she had died long back and her daughter had falsely assumed her identity.

 27 
Carla Bruni
(Singer, Supermodel & Spouse of the ex-French President 'Nicolas Sarkozy')

Carla Bruni
4
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

Carla Bruni is an Italian-French fashion model and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition after marrying the then president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008. Also known for her political activities, philanthropy, and charity work, Bruni established the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation in 2009; the foundation helps promote access to knowledge for all. She also supports organizations, such as PETA.

 28 
Isabelle Adjani
(Actress, Only person in history to win five César Awards)

Isabelle Adjani
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

Isabelle Adjani is a French singer and actress. A critically acclaimed performer, Adjani is the only person to receive five César Awards. In 1988, Isabelle Adjani became the first French actress to earn two nominations at the Academy Awards for foreign-language films. She has also received other prestigious awards like the Silver Bear for Best Actress.

 29 
Brigitte Macron
(Spouse of the President of France (Since 2017))

Brigitte Macron
9
Birthdate: April 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amiens, France

Wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron was, interestingly, her husband’s literature and theater teacher at Lycée la Providence. She was the chief strategist during Macron’s 2016-2017 election. Twenty-four years Macron’s senior, Brigitte, was to be the official “First Lady” of France, until a signature campaign thwarted such plans. 

 30 

Pom Klementieff
13
Birthdate: May 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada

French actress and model Pom Klementieff is internationally known for her role as Mantis in Marvel Cinematic Universe films. She had a difficult childhood and struggled a lot in her youth. She started acting when she was 19 and appeared in many French films. After establishing herself in French cinema, she made her Hollywood debut in 2013. 

 31 
Colette
(Best Known for Her Novel 'Gigi')

Colette
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France
Died: August 3, 1954

Colette was a French author who received a nomination for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is remembered for her novella Gigi, which inspired the 1958 movie and the 1973 musical of the same name. Her life and work have inspired several films, including the 2018 biographical drama film Colette, where Keira Knightley played the title role.

 32 

Irène Joliot-Curie
1
Birthdate: September 12, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1956

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.

 33 
Élodie Yung
(Actress)

Élodie Yung
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 34 
Alexa Davalos
(Actress)

Alexa Davalos
6
Birthdate: May 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Alexa Davalos is an American actress who started her career by modeling for popular photographers like Peter Lindbergh. After making her acting debut in 2002, Davalos went on to land important roles in TV series like Reunion, Mob City, and The Man in the High Castle.

 35 

Isabelle Huppert
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

 36 
Marine Le Pen
(Member of the National Assembly for Pas-de-Calais's 11th constituency (Since 2017))

Marine Le Pen
8
Birthdate: August 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

French politician and lawyer Marine Le Pen, daughter of politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been the president of the National Rally since 2011. She is also serving as the member of the National Assembly for Pas-de-Calais's 11th constituency since 2017. She was previously a member of the European Parliament.

 37 
Isabella of France
(Queen of England (1308-1327))

Isabella of France
4
Birthdate: 1295 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 22, 1358

Isabella of France, also known as the She-Wolf of France, was the Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II. She was known for her diplomatic skills, intelligence, and beauty. Her marriage was a troubled one and she probably had an affair with Roger Mortimer. It is believed that Isabella then arranged the murder of Edward II.

George Sand
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: June 8, 1876
Nineteenth-century French author Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, better known as George Sand, became a leading figure of the Romantic era of Europe. She is best remembered for works such as La Petite Fadette and had numerous affairs, the most notable of them being the one with composer Frédéric Chopin.

 39 
Leslie Caron
(Actress, Dancer)

Leslie Caron
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France
French-American actor Leslie Caron is best known for her BAFTA-winning roles in The L-Shaped Room and Lili. She has also won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. A seasoned actor, she began her career as a ballerina. She has also been a jury member at various international film festivals.

 40 
Maria Theresa of Spain
(Queen of France and Navarre (1660-1683))

Maria Theresa of Spain
4
Birthdate: September 10, 1638
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lorenzo de El Escorial, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Died: July 30, 1683
Maria Theresa of Spain was the queen consort of France from 1660 to 1683, as the wife of Louis XIV of France. She lost five of her six children early and was also often ignored by the court. She died due to a wound on her arm at age 44.

 41 
Liliane Bettencourt
(Shareholder of L'Oréal)

Liliane Bettencourt
1
Birthdate: October 21, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 20, 2017
Former L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt was the world’s richest woman at the time of her death. She had apparently gifted celebrity photographer François-Marie Banier cash and gifts worth a billion euros, leading her daughter to file a case against Banier later. Bettencourt was also involved in medical and cultural philanthropy.

 42 

Sarah Bernhardt
2
Birthdate: October 22, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 26, 1923

Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress known for playing important roles in popular French plays of the early-20th century.  Her decision to play Hamlet inspired Theresa Rebeck's play Bernhardt/Hamlet, in which Janet McTeer portrayed Sarah Bernhardt. In 1960, Bernhardt became the earliest born person to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 43 

Clémence Poésy
4
Birthdate: October 30, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine, France

 44 
Jeanne Moreau
(Actress)

Jeanne Moreau
2
Birthdate: January 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 31, 2017

 45 

Romy Schneider
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 29, 1982

German-French actor Romy Schneider began her career with the Heimatfilm genre of films as a teenager. She appeared as Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Austrian Sissi trilogy and in Ludwig. She is also remembered for her César Award-winning roles in Une histoire simple and L'important c'est d'aimer.

 46 
Alizee
(Singer)

Alizee
3
Birthdate: August 21, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France

Starting out as a dancer at an early age, Alizee later mastered singing and even stepped into acting. The French singer first gained attention with the talent show Graines de Star and the track Moi...Lolita and later created hits such as L'Alizé. In 2001, she was the highest-selling French female singer.

 47 
Yael Grobglas
(Actress)

Yael Grobglas
1
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Yael Grobglas is an Israeli actress known for her performance in the popular American satirical telenovela Jane the Virgin. After appearing in a couple of Israeli films, Grobglas achieved international recognition when she played Shir in a horror film titled Rabies. She then established herself in the American TV and film industry by appearing in projects like Jane the Virgin.

 48 

Astrid Berges-Frisbey
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain

Born to a French-American mother and a Spanish father, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey had initially worked as a waitress and had even decided to pursue a career in osteopathy. The actor-model later made waves with her roles in The Sea Wall and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

 49 
Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
(Author and Board Member of L'Oréal)

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
8
Birthdate: July 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine

L'Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world’s richest woman as of 2020, made headlines when she sued her mother, trying to prove she was mentally incompetent. In spite of being born into luxury, she often ditched parties, and took to writing books on Greek mythology and religious commentaries.

 50 

Angelique Boyer
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Claude, France
French-Mexican actor Angelique Boyer is best known for her appearances in telenovelas such as Corazón Salvaje and Rebelde. She was previously part of the band Rabanitos Verdes. She has won awards such as the Premios Juventud and the Premios TVyNovelas. She has also been part of the film J-ok'el.

French women are also known for their astuteness and business acumen and it is no surprise that the wealthiest woman in the world, Liliane Henriette Charlotte Schueller, is French. When we are talking about all things French, how can we leave out French cuisine or the master chefs like Rougui Dia and Flora Mikula who dish out the delicacies? What would the world of fashion been like had it not been for Coco Chanel who founded the Chanel brand? Read on to explore more about famous French women.