Donald Pleasence was an English actor best remembered for his portrayal of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the popular 1967 James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. His performance in the film was later parodied by Canadian actor Mike Myers in the Austin Powers film series. Donald Pleasence was also an important theatre actor; he received four Tony Award nominations.
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.
Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French designer, painter, architect, writer, and urban planner. He was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. During his illustrious career, which spanned 50 years, Le Corbusier designed buildings in India, Japan, Europe, and North and South America. He is also credited with revolutionizing urban planning.
French poet Arthur Rimbaud is remembered for his influence on Dadaism, surrealism, and symbolism. Known for works such as Le Soleil Etait Encore Chaud and Voyelles, he later got involved in a relationship with poet Paul Verlaine. He also traveled as a merchant and explorer, before dying of cancer.
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.
Maurice Tillet was a Russian professional wrestler. A two-time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, Tillet was a very successful and popular wrestler at that time. He even appeared as The Swedish Angel in the 1949 American fantasy film Mighty Joe Young. Maurice Tillet was posthumously inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012.
Georges Bizet was a French composer whose career was cut short by his untimely demise at the age of 36. Since his death in 1875, Bizet's final work Carmen has become one of the most frequently performed works in the opera repertoire. Although he couldn’t achieve success during his lifetime, Bizet's death is considered a loss to French musical theatre.
Georges Danton was a major figure in the early stages of the French Revolution. While many historians state that he played a key role in the establishment of the First French Republic, a few scholars refute this claim. He served as the first president of the Committee of Public Safety and was beheaded by the advocates of revolutionary terror.
Évariste Galois was a French mathematician best remembered for solving a 350-year-old problem when he was still in his teens. His work formed the basis for group theory and Galois theory, two important branches of abstract algebra. Also a political activist, Évariste Galois died at the age of 20 after suffering wounds in a duel.
Louis Malle was a French film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for his film Le Monde du silence, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1957. He was also the recipient of two Golden Lion awards, one of the only four directors to have achieved this feat. He was active in both French cinema and Hollywood.
Denis Diderot revolutionized the Age of Enlightenment as the co-founder of Encyclopédie, which was banned for questioning religion. He had flirted with the idea of joining the theater and becoming a priest, and even studied law, but later devoted himself to languages, literature, and philosophy.
Louis-Philippe I of France reigned as the King of the French from 9 August 1830 to 24 February 1848. Although his rule was much loved at the beginning, his popularity suffered when the economic conditions in France declined in 1847. Subsequently, Louis Philippe I was forced to abdicate the throne when the French Revolution broke out in 1848.
Didier Deschamps is a French former professional football player turned manager. He played as a defensive midfielder for many clubs, such as Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea, and Valencia. He was also a French international. He began his managerial career in 2001 and has been the manager of the France national team since 2012. Former tennis player Nathalie Tauziat is his cousin.
French actor and musician Tchéky Karyo is best known as Julien Baptiste from the series The Missing and its spin-off, Baptiste. His performance in La Balance earned him a Cesar Award nomination. He has also appeared in character roles in films such as Kiss of the Dragon and The Patriot.
One of the greatest composers of all time, French pianist and organist Gabriel Fauré is best remembered for his masterpieces such as Requiem. His music career began at 9, when he was sent to Paris to become a choirmaster. At 75, he was awarded the Grand-Croix of the Légion d'honneur.
Soko is a French musician and singer-songwriter. The song We Might Be Dead by Tomorrow, which is part of her debut album I Thought I Was an Alien, reached the ninth position on the Billboard Hot 100. Soko is also a critically acclaimed actress, earning César Award nominations for her performance in films like In the Beginning and The Dancer.
French philosopher, Henri Bergson, is remembered for his contribution to the tradition of continental philosophy. His works were considered extremely influential, especially during the first half of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature (1927) and Grand-Croix de la Legion d'honneur (1930). He was a simple man who led a humble life despite his great achievements.
Kurt Zouma is a French football player who currently plays for the France national team as well as the West Ham United of Premier League. Zouma, who made his professional debut at the age of 16, was named in the ten most promising young players list by The Observer. Kurt Zouma has won prestigious titles, including two Premier League titles.
Psychiatrist R. D. Laing was known for his different perspective on mental illnesses, particularly psychosis. Known as anti-psychiatry, his theory of resolving mental ailments opposed the age-old shock therapy. His written works include The Divided Self. He was also a talented poet and had fathered 10 children by four women.
Dauphin Louis had one of the most unpopular reigns as the king of France. Following the fall of Bastille, he became the first royal family member to go into exile. Decisions such as the imposition of the death penalty and press censorship led to the July Revolution and his abdication.
Known widely as Turkey’s most popular female author, Elif Shafak is best known for her Booker-shortlisted bestseller 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. A fierce advocate for gender equality and LGBTQ rights, she is also a 3-time TEDGlobal speaker. She now lives in London, on a self-imposed exile.
Madame de Montespan was the chief Royal mistress of King Louis XIV of France. Thanks to her strong influence over Louis XIV, Madame de Montespan was sometimes referred to as the true Queen of France during Louis' reign. One of the most celebrated chief Royal mistresses of all time, Madame de Montespan had seven children with Louis XIV of France.
Esther Duflo is a French–American economist. She is credited with co-founding the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a global research center that works towards reducing poverty worldwide. In 2019, she shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Michael Kremer and Abhijit Banerjee for their efforts to reduce poverty.
Claude Cahun was a French sculptor, surrealist photographer, and writer. He is best remembered for his work as a self-portraitist and writer. Apart from his primary career, Claude Cahun also played a major role in the Second World War, serving as a propagandist and resistance worker.