Polish-French film director, producer, writer, and actor Roman Polanski is a popular yet controversial figure. He has made several critically acclaimed films and has received six Oscar nominations. He has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous women and is a subject of an Interpol red notice issued for his arrest.
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.
French musician Thomas Bangalter had been part of the six-time Grammy-winning electronic music duo Daft Punk for 28 years, before it split. Known for wearing their signature helmets while performing, he and his partner, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, released iconic hits such as Da Funk and Get Lucky.
The Paris-born French-Swiss director and screenwriter has the reputation of adding new dimensions to filmmaking with his experimentation, a trend which came to be known as French New Wave. The director of acclaimed films like Breathless, My Life to Live and Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard was married to actress Anna Karina. He is regarded as an all-time great director.
12 Roger Vadim
Roger Vadim was a French film director, producer, screenwriter, and artist. He is remembered for his visually aesthetic movies with erotic qualities. He was also popular for his relationships with beautiful actresses like Catherine Deneuve, Cindy Pickett, and Margaret Markov. Also an author, Vadim wrote several books, including his autobiography, From One Star to the Next.
14 Jean Cocteau
15 Louis Garrel
16 Louis Malle
17 Agnes Varda
Samuel Benchetrit is a French writer, scenarist, actor, and director. Over the years, Benchetrit's achievements as a writer and actor have been overshadowed by his personal life and relationships with popular actresses like Marie Trintignant, Anna Mouglalis, and Vanessa Paradis.
21 Greg Lansky
Best known as Grace Bertrand from American Horror Story and Coco from The Strain, Lizzie Brocheré is the daughter of reputed French casting director Sylvie Brocheré. It is believed her audition for American Horror Story was so perfect that the directors re-wrote the character as French to match her accent.
23 Ariane Labed
24 Cecilia Peck
Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novelist, illustrator, cartoonist, children's book author, and film director. Satrapi achieved international recognition in the early-2000s after releasing her critically acclaimed graphic novels. She is best known for writing and directing an animated biographical drama film titled Persepolis, which received nominations at prestigious award ceremonies, such as the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globes.
28 Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir was a French film director, screenwriter, and producer. The son of the prominent painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean was one of the first filmmakers to be known as an auteur. He started working during the silent film era and made more than 40 silent films. In 1975, he received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award.
31 Romain Gary
Romain Gary was a French novelist, diplomat, and film director of Jewish origin. He also served as an aviator during World War II. One of France’s most popular and prolific writers, he is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt twice. He had a troubled personal life and died of suicide in 1980.
34 Jacques Tati
36 Claire Denis
39 Marc Dorcel
40 Éric Rohmer
41 Fanny Ardant
44 Dany Boon
50 Costa Gavras
Costa Gavras is a Greek-French screenwriter and filmmaker best known for making movies with social and political themes. His 1969 political thriller film Z, which earned him an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, was the first movie to receive nominations for both the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture at the Academy Awards.