Larry Bourgeois became an international sensation performing as part of the hip-hop dance duo Les Twins, with his identical twin brother, Laurent Bourgeois. The French-born dancer first gained fame when a YouTube video of the duo went viral in the U.S. He has also modeled at the Paris Fashion Week.
Françoise Gilot is a French painter whose professional career was overshadowed by her long and turbulent relationship with Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. After breaking up with Picasso, with whom Gilot had two children, the former deterred galleries from buying her work. He even tried blocking the release of her memoir Life With Picasso which was released in 1964.
Marius Petipa was a French pedagogue, ballet dancer, and choreographer. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important ballet choreographers and masters in ballet history. From 1871 to 1903, he served as the principal choreographer and Ballet Master of the popular Imperial Russian Ballet. In the 1983 biopic Anna Pavlova, Petipa was played by Pyotr Gusev.
Fab Morvan is a French singer, rapper, songwriter, model, and dancer. He is best known for his involvement in one of the biggest scandals in the history of pop music; the scandal surfaced when it was found that neither Fab Morvan nor Rob Pilatus, the other half of pop duo Milli Vanilli, had sung on any of the duo's recordings.
Born to a French mother and a Croatian father, Dora Maar spent her childhood in Argentina and later studied art in Paris. The renowned surrealist artist and photographer later gained fame as Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse, and was featured in his paintings such as Weeping Woman.
Yanis Marshall is a French choreographer and dancer who specializes in a style in which dancers wear high-heeled shoes irrespective of their gender. In 2014, Marshall appeared in the popular British talent show competition Britain's Got Talent and became one of the finalists. He has also worked as a coach in popular shows like Dancing with the Stars.
Sylvie Guillem is a French ballet dancer who worked with the Paris Opera Ballet where she was the top-ranking female dancer from 1984 to 1989. She then went on to become a principal guest artist at the Royal Ballet in London. Over the course of her career, Guillem has won many awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.
13 Lolo Ferrari
Lolo Ferrari was a French pornographic actress, singer, and dancer. She is best remembered for her large breast implants; she was touted as the woman with the world's largest breast implants. She was included in the French Guinness Book of World Records and in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1996 and 1999, respectively.
Born to Italian parents, Jean-Baptiste Lully grew up to be a legendary composer who ruled the French courts. He started his journey as a violinist in Louis XIV’s band and later came to be known for his tragic operas. He had also apparently invented the French overture.
15 David Belle
David Belle is a French actor, stunt coordinator, and film choreographer. Belle is credited with founding and popularizing Parkour; he coined the term Parkour based on his training with his father Raymond Belle. As a stunt coordinator, Belle has worked in films like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Transporter 2, and Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse.
Maurice Béjart was a French-born Swiss dancer, opera director, and choreographer. He is credited with founding the popular Swiss ballet company Béjart Ballet Lausanne. During his lifetime, Maurice Béjart was honored with several awards, including the Belgian Ordre de la Couronne, Erasmus Prize, Deutscher Tanzpreis, and the Prix Benois de la Danse for his contributions to the arts.
Gabriella Papadakis is a French ice dancer who won the silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Along with her skating partner Guillaume Cizeron, Papadakis has won five successive European championship titles, six French national championship titles, four World Championships, and two Grand Prix Final championships. Papadakis and Cizeron have broken 29 world records so far.
Guillaume Cizeron is a French ice dancer who won the 2018 Olympic silver medal along with his skating partner Gabriella Papadakis. Cizeron and Papadakis have also won four World Championship titles, five successive European Championship titles, two Grand Prix Final championship titles, and six French National Championships. The pair has broken 29 world records so far.
Caterina Valente is an Italian-French guitarist, multilingual singer, actress, and dancer. Valente, who sings in 11 languages, has worked with artists around the world. She has worked with international stars like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Rich, and Chet Baker. One of her songs titled Bongo cha cha cha was used in the 2019 American film Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Sylvain Longchambon is a French ice dancer who won two silver medals in the ISU Junior Grand Prix series along with his skating partner Caroline Truong. The pair has also won bronze medals at the 2001 Ondrej Nepela Memorial and at the 2002 French Championships. In 2011, Sylvain Longchambon appeared in the popular television series Dancing on Ice.
Zizi Jeanmaire was a French actress, ballet dancer, and singer. Jeanmaire achieved popularity in the 1950s after portraying the title role in the popular ballet Carmen which was created by Roland Petit and staged at the Prince's Theatre in London. She went on to marry Roland Petit, who created several revues and ballets for her.
Nathalie Péchalat is a French former ice dancer who won two European championships, five French national championships, and five medals at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final along with her skating partner Fabian Bourzat. She is currently serving as the president of the French Federation of Ice Sports.
Michèle Mercier is a French actress best known for playing Angélique Sancé de Monteloup in the 1964 historical romance film Angélique, Marquise des Anges. Over the course of her illustrious career, Mercier has worked with prominent directors like Dino Risi, François Truffaut, Mario Monicelli, and Ken Annakin. She has also appeared alongside popular actors like Marcello Mastroianni and Charles Bronson.
Reynaldo Hahn was a Venezuelan-born French conductor, composer, singer, and music critic. A prolific composer, Hahn wrote a wide range of piano works and chamber music. His orchestral works include tone poems, concertos ballets, as well as incidental music for films and plays. Towards the end of his career, Reynaldo Hahn served as the director of the Paris Opéra.
Catherine Ringer is a French singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, dancer, actress, and choreographer. She is credited with co-founding the popular pop-rock group Les Rita Mitsouko which was one of the most acclaimed French musical acts in the 1980s and 1990.
Sheila is a French singer who achieved popularity in the 1960s and 1970s as a solo artist. She is also known for her collaboration with her husband Ringo and was one half of the popular duo Sheila & Ringo. In 2011, Sheila also showcased her dancing skills when she appeared in the popular TV dance contest Danse avec les stars.
27 Jane Avril
Jane Avril was a French dancer who specialized in can-can, a popular music-hall dance of the 1840s. Avril was made famous by popular French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who often depicted Jane Avril in his paintings. In the 1952 British drama film Moulin Rouge, Jane Avril was played by Hungarian-American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Micheline Bernardini is a French retired nude dancer who worked at the Casino de Paris. Bernardini is best known for modeling Louis Réard's first two-piece swimsuit, which he later called the bikini. After achieving immense popularity by modeling the first bikini in 1946, Micheline Bernardini went on to appear in several revues at the Tivoli Theatre from 1948 to 1958.
30 La Goulue
La Goulue was a French can-can dancer who became a favorite subject for painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the peak of her popularity. Dubbed the Queen of Montmartre, Goulue is remembered for performing at the Moulin Rouge near Montmartre where she was a star. After parting ways with Moulin Rouge, she lost a considerable amount of money and died poor.
Tal is an Israeli-French dancer, singer, and songwriter. Apart from coming up with hit singles, Tal also takes an active part in charity; since 2013 she has been one of the most prominent members of the Les Enfoirés. In 2013, 2014, and 2016, Tal was honored at the NRJ Music Awards with the Francophone Female Artist of the Year award.
Ida Rubinstein was a Russian dancer, art patron, and actress. She is best remembered for performing with the popular itinerant ballet company, the Ballets Russes. She also served as a subject for Russian painter Valentin Alexandrovich Serov's portrait Salomé.
Liane de Pougy was a French dancer and vedette who performed at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Remembered for her captivating looks, de Pougy was widely regarded as one of Paris's most notorious courtesans. She also served as the subject for many artists like Paul César Helleu and Jean Baptiste Guth.
Liliane Montevecchi was a French-Italian actress, singer, and dancer. She is best remembered for her performance in the 1957 movie The Living Idol. After starting her career as a ballet dancer, Montevecchi went on to establish herself as an actress. In 1982, she won the prestigious Tony Award for her performance in Nine. She also participated in many humanitarian causes.
Marina Anissina is a French-Russian ice dancer who represents France in major tournaments, such as the Olympics. She won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics and is a six-time French national champion. She has also represented France in European Championships, where she has won two gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze medal.
Violette Verdy was a French ballet dancer, teacher, choreographer, and writer. From 1958 to 1977, Verdy served as the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet where she was a star. She also served as the director for popular ballet companies like the Boston Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. During her lifetime, Verdy was honored with several awards.
Emmanuelle Bouaziz is a French actress, singer, and dancer. After studying dance at the prestigious Rick Odums Performing Arts Institute, Bouaziz went on to appear in several musicals, such as Mamma Mia!, Roméo et Juliette, and 1789: Les Amants de la Bastille. Her performance in musicals earned her opportunities to act in films and TV series.
Yvette Chauviré was a French actress and ballet dancer. Regarded as the greatest ballerina from France, Chauviré also served as the coach of prima ballerinas like Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Sylvie Guillem. Her life and career inspired a documentary film titled Yvette Chauviré: une étoile pour l'example which was released in 1983. In 1964, she was awarded the Legion of Honour.
Marika Rivera was a French-born actress and dancer best remembered for playing important roles in movies like Hôtel du Paradis and Eat the Rich. After starting her career as a dancer, Marika Rivera went on to establish herself as an actress. However, her personal life, which includes her marriage with acclaimed painter Jean Paul Brusset, eclipsed her professional achievements.
40 Roland Petit
Roland Petit was a French dancer, choreographer, and ballet company director. Renowned for his creative ballets, Petit is credited with choreographing several internationally acclaimed dancers. He is also credited with founding the Ballet National de Marseille in Marseille, France. In 1994, Roland Petit was honored with the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse for his contribution as a choreographer.
Marie van Goethem was a French ballet dancer who worked with the Paris Opera Ballet. She is best remembered for posing as a model for Impressionist artist Edgar Degas's famous statue Little Dancer of Fourteen Years. Marie van Goethem's life and career have inspired several fictitious and non-fictitious novels and documentaries.
42 Suzy Delair
Suzy Delair was a French actress, singer, dancer, comedian, and vaudeville artist. She is best remembered for her lead role of Chérie Lamour in the 1951 French-Italian film Atoll K which marked the final screen appearance of the popular comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
43 Serge Lifar
Serge Lifar was a French ballet dancer of Ukrainian origin. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest male ballet dancers, Lifar served as a ballet master from 1930 to 1944 at the famous Paris Opera. From 1947 to 1958, he worked towards restoring the Paris Opera Ballet's reputation as one of the best in the world.
Jean-Georges Noverre was a French balletmaster and dancer. It is widely believed that he created ballet d'action, a predecessor of the story ballet of the 19th century. Noverre's works continue to inspire and influence several ballet dancers around the world. Such was his contribution to ballet that Jean-Georges Noverre's birthday is celebrated as International Dance Day.
England-born Russian ice dancer Tiffany Zahorski began skating at the age of two, becoming British Novice Solo Dance Champion by the age of eleven and French Novice Solo Dance Champion by the age of fourteen. A Russian citizen since 2016, she represented Russia in the 2018 Winter Olympics with her partner Jonathan Guerreiro. She won gold in the 2018 Warsaw Cup and silver in 2020 Rostelecom Cup.
Willy Cartier is a French dancer, actor, and fashion model. He is best known for his association with the popular luxury perfume and fashion house, Givenchy. Apart from Givenchy, Cartier has also modeled for other famous brands, such as Chanel, Benetton, and Diesel. Willy Cartier has also appeared in several magazines like Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle Man, and Numéro.
Ludmilla Tchérina was a French prima ballerina, actress, sculptor, painter, author, and choreographer. In 1942, she became the youngest prima ballerina when she made her debut, creating the role of Juliet in Serge Lifar's Romeo and Juliet. Although she had a lifelong passion for sculpting and painting, Ludmilla Tchérina is primarily remembered for her skills as an actress.
48 Emma Livry
Emma Livry was a French ballet dancer. A student of Marie Taglioni, Livry was one of the last ballet dancers of the Romantic ballet era. Emma Livry is best remembered for her untimely death at the age of 20; she died of burn injuries when her outfit caught fire while practicing for her upcoming performance.
Pierre Beauchamp was a French dancer, choreographer, and composer. It is widely believed that he invented Beauchamp–Feuillet notation, a system of dance notation. He served as the director of the famous Académie Royale de Danse and later worked as a ballet master at the prestigious Paris Opera. Pierre Beauchamp played a key role in the development of baroque dance.