Jean Reno started his career on stage, appearing in the plays ‘Prends bien garde aux zeppelins’, ‘Ecce Homo’, ‘Celimare le bien-aimé’ and ‘Société Un’ in the late 1970s.
He made his film debut in 1978, appearing in the French experimental mystery flick ‘The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting’. Then in 1982, he did the flick ‘La Passante du Sans-Souci’ or ‘The Passerby,’ based on Joseph Kessel’s 1936 novel of the same name.
In 1983, the actor had his first prominent role in Luc Besson’s ‘Le Dernier Combat’, a post-apocalyptic French movie which contains only two words of dialogue. It was Besson’s first feature film as a director. The actor featured in the comedy films ‘Le téléphone sonne toujours deux fois’ and ‘Subway’ in 1985.
In 1988, he played Enzo Molinari in ‘Le Grand Bleu’ or ‘The Big Blue’ (in English), a film that tells the story of friendship as well as sporting rivalry between two leading champion free divers of the 20th century. Reno’s performance in the flick was appreciated and it earned him a César Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
He had another commercial success with director Luc Besson in 1990 when he appeared in the French action thriller film ‘Nikita’. The movie stars Anne Parillaud in the titular role of a teenager who robs a pharmacy and kills a police official. She spends her life in jail where her captors fake her death give her two options: to become an assassin or get killed.
The actor played Father Victorio Gaetano in ‘L'Homme au masque d'or’ and Captain Philippe Boulier in ‘L'Opération Corned-Beef’, both of which were released in 1991. That year, he also acted on stage, in the play ‘Montserrat’.
In 1992, he lent his voice to the character of Porco Rosso for the French version of the Japanese animated film ‘Porco Rosso’. He next had a role in Jean-Marie Poiré’s French fantasy comedy ‘Les Visiteurs’. The movie became the #1 box office hit in France in 1993. As of 2018, it was the fifth highest grossing French movie ever.
Jean Reno did the voice-over for Mufasa for the French version of ‘The Lion King’ in 1994. The same year, he was cast in the lead role of Leone Montana in the French thriller ‘Léon: The Professional’. His performance earned him a César Award nomination for Best Actor.
He starred as Inspector Jean-Paul Cardon in ‘French Kiss’ (1995), a romantic comedy film about a lady who flies to France to confront her straying partner and lands into trouble when the attractive crook seated next to her uses her to export a stolen diamond necklace illegally.
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In the year 1996, the French artiste was cast as Franz Krieger in the American action spy movie ‘Mission: Impossible’. Produced by and starring Tom Cruise, the flick is based on the TV series of the same name.
In 1998, he appeared as Philippe Roaché in the American monster film ‘Godzilla’ alongside Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Kevin Dunn, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer and Michael Lerner. The same year, Reno played Vincent in John Frankenheimer’s action thriller ‘Ronin’.
He starred as Count Thibault of Malfete in the American-French comedy ‘Just Visiting’ in 2001. In 2002, he was cast as Felix alongside Juliette Binoche in ‘Décalage horaire.’ The movie tells the story of a French beautician who accidentally meets a French chef on her way to a new job in Mexico. Their initial mutual indifference and hostility later evolves into romance.
Reno had a voice role in the video game ‘Onimusha 3: Demon Siege’ in 2004. He also played Ange Leoni in the French comedy film ‘L'Enquête Corse’.
He had a prominent role in the 2006 American comedy film ‘The Pink Panther’ and its 2009 sequel ‘The Pink Panther 2,’ in which he played Gilbert Ponton opposite actor Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau.
The actor starred as Captain Bezu Fache in Ron Howard’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (2006), a mystery thriller also featuring Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno, Jürgen Prochnow and Paul Bettany.
In the following years, Reno appeared in a number of films, including ‘Le Premier Cercle’, ‘Couples Retreat’, ‘Armored’, ‘The Round Up’, ‘Margaret’, ‘Alex Cross’ and ‘The Chef’.
He had a television role in the series ‘Jo’ in 2013. He was featured as Danzer in the Austrian coming-of-age drama flick ‘Brothers of the Wind’ in 2015. In the ensuing years, he appeared in the movies ‘The Last Face’, ‘The Visitors: Bastille Day’, ‘The Promise’, ‘The Girl in the Fog’ and ‘The Adventurers’.
Family & Personal Life
Reno’s first marriage was with a woman named Geneviève. The couple had two kids: daughter Sandra (born in 1978) and son Mickael (born in 1980).
After divorcing Geneviève, the actor went on to marry Polish model Nathalie Dyszkiewicz. The two had two children together: Tom and Serena. This marriage also ended in a divorce.
On 29 July 2006, Reno tied the knot with British model cum actress Zofia Borucka. They welcomed their son, Cielo, in 2009. Two years later, they had another son named Dean. Reno has houses in Malaysia, Paris and Los Angeles.