Isabelle Adjani

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Isabelle Adjani
Isabelle Adjani Cannes 2009.JPG
Isabelle Adjani at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
BornIsabelle Yasmina Adjani
(1955-06-27) 27 June 1955 (age 59)
Paris, France[1]
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1970–present
ParentsMohammed Adjani, Augusta Adjani
RelativesEric Adjani (brother, deceased)
César Awards
Best Actress
1982 Possession
1984 L'été meurtrier
1989 Camille Claudel
1995 La reine Margot
2010 La journée de la jupe
Cannes Film Festival
Best Actress
1981 Quartet ; Possession
Jump to: navigation, search
Isabelle Adjani
Isabelle Adjani Cannes 2009.JPG
Isabelle Adjani at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
BornIsabelle Yasmina Adjani
(1955-06-27) 27 June 1955 (age 59)
Paris, France[1]
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1970–present
ParentsMohammed Adjani, Augusta Adjani
RelativesEric Adjani (brother, deceased)
César Awards
Best Actress
1982 Possession
1984 L'été meurtrier
1989 Camille Claudel
1995 La reine Margot
2010 La journée de la jupe
Cannes Film Festival
Best Actress
1981 Quartet ; Possession

Isabelle Adjani (born 27 June 1955) is a French film actress and singer. She is a five-time César Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee.

Adjani rose to fame in 1975 for her lauded performance as Adele Hugo in The Story of Adele H., which earned the then 20 year-old her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, making her the youngest nominee ever at the time. She won the first of a record five César Awards for Best Actress for the 1981 film Possession. Her subsequent wins were for One Deadly Summer (1983), Camille Claudel (1988), La Reine Margot (1994) and Skirt Day (2009). Her 1988 Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Camille Claudel made her the first French actress to receive two nominations.

Adjani won the 1981 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award for both Possession and Quartet, and received the 1989 Berlin Film Festival Best Actress Award for Camille Claudel. In 2010, she was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.

Early life[edit]

Isabelle Yasmina Adjani was born in the 17th arrondissement of Paris to a German Catholic mother from Bavaria and an Algerian Muslim father from Iferhounène, Kabylie.[2][3][4][5][6] Emma Augusta Schweinberger (died February 2007), called "Gusti", met her father Mohammed Adjani near the end of World War II, when he was in the French Army. They married and she returned with him to Paris, not speaking a word of French.[7][8]

She asked him to take Cherif as his first name as it sounded more "American".[9] Mohammed Cherif Adjani was a soldier in the French Army from the age of 16 in World War II.

Isabelle Adjani grew up bilingual, speaking French and German fluently.[10][11][12] She said her parents used their ethnic and cultural differences against each other in arguments. After winning a school recitation contest, Adjani began acting by the age of twelve in amateur theater.


At the age of 14, Adjani starred in her first motion picture, Le Petit bougnat (1970).[13]

Adjani first gained fame as a classical actress at the Comédie française, which she joined in 1972. She was praised for her interpretation of Agnès, the main female role in Molière's L'École des femmes. She soon left the theatre to pursue a film career.

After minor roles in several films, she enjoyed modest success in the 1974 film La Gifle (fr) (or The Slap). The following year, she landed her first major role in François Truffaut's The Story of Adèle H. (1975). Critics praised her performance, with the American critic Pauline Kael describing her acting talents as "prodigious".[14][15] Only nineteen when she made the film, Adjani was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar and quickly received offers for roles in Hollywood films, such as Walter Hill's 1978 crime thriller The Driver. She played Lucy in the German director Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of Nosferatu.

In 1981, Adjani received a double Cannes Film Festival's best actress award for her roles in the Merchant Ivory film Quartet, based on the novel by Jean Rhys, and in the horror film Possession (1981). The following year, she received her first César Award for Possession, in which she had portrayed a woman having a nervous breakdown. In 1983, she won her second César for her depiction of a vengeful woman in the French blockbuster One Deadly Summer.

That same year, Adjani released the French pop album Pull marine, written and produced by Serge Gainsbourg. She starred in a music video for the hit title song, "Pull Marine", which was directed by Luc Besson.

In 1988, she co-produced and starred in a biopic of the sculptor Camille Claudel. She received her third César and second Oscar nomination for her role in the film, which was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Following this recognition, she was chosen by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world.

She received her fourth César for the 1994 film Queen Margot, an ensemble epic directed by Patrice Chéreau. She received her fifth César for Skirt Day (2009), the most that any actress has received. The film features her as a middle school teacher in a troubled French suburb who takes her class hostage when she accidentally fires off a gun she found on one of her students. It was premiered on the French Arte channel on 20 March 2009, attaining a record 2.2 million viewers) and then in movie theaters on 25 March 2009.[16]

In 2011, Adjani was named "The Most Beautiful Woman in Film" by the Los Angeles Times magazine.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Isabelle Adjani at the hôtel Amour, 21 October 2012.

In 1979, she had a son, Barnabe Nuytten, with the cinematographer Bruno Nuytten.[10] Adjani was romantically linked to the actor Warren Beatty from 1986 to 1987. From 1989 to 1995, she had a relationship with Daniel Day Lewis,[10] who left before the birth of their son, Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, in 1995.[18]

Adjani was later engaged to the composer Jean Michel Jarre; they broke up in 2004.[18]

In 2009, Adjani criticized statements by Pope Benedict XVI claiming that condoms are not an effective method of AIDS prevention.[19]


In addition to specific awards for particular films, Adjani was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur on 14 July 2010 for her artistic contributions.[20]


YearFilmRoleDirectorNotesRotten Tomatoes
1970Le Petit bougnatRoseBernard Toublanc-Michel
1972Faustine et le bel étéCamilleNina Companeez
1973L'école des femmesAgnèsRaymond RouleauTV Movie Produced by the Comédie-Française
1974L'avareMarianeRené LucotTV Movie Produced by the Comédie-Française
Le secret des FlamandsMariaRobert ValeyTV Movie
La Gifle (fr)Isabelle DouleanClaude PinoteauSpecial David di Donatello
ArianeArianePierre-Jean de San Bartolomé
1975Story of Adèle H., TheThe Story of Adèle H.Adèle HugoFrançois TruffautCartagena Film Festival Golden India Catalina for Best Actress
David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
93% [21]
OndineOndineRaymond RouleauTV Movie
1976Tenant, TheThe TenantStellaRoman Polanski90% [22]
BaroccoLaureAndré TéchinéNominated—César Award for Best Actress
1977Violette & FrançoisViolette ClotJacques Rouffio
1978Driver, TheThe DriverThe PlayerWalter Hill86% [23]
1979Nosferatu the VampyreLucy HarkerWerner HerzogBambi Award for Best Actress95% [24]
Brontë Sisters, TheThe Brontë SistersEmily BrontëAndré Téchiné
1981Clara et les Chics TypesClaraJacques Monnet
PossessionAnna/HelenAndrzej ŻuławskiCannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
César Award for Best Actress
81% [25]
QuartetMarya ZelliJames IvoryCannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
L'Année prochaine... si tout va bien (fr)Isabelle MaréchalJean-Loup Hubert
1982Tout feu, tout flammePauline ValanceJean-Paul Rappeneau
The Last Horror FilmHerselfDavid Winters
AntonietaAntonieta Rivas MercadoCarlos Saura
1983Mortelle randonnéeCatherine Leiris/Lucie, 'Marie'Claude Miller
One Deadly SummerEliane known as 'Elle'Jean BeckerCésar Award for Best Actress
1984Pull marineLuc Besson
1985SubwayHélénaLuc BessonNominated—César Award for Best Actress86% [26]
1986T'as de beaux escaliers tu saisIsabelleAgnès VardaShort
1987IshtarShirra AsselElaine May26% [27]
1988Camille ClaudelCamille ClaudelBruno NuyttenCésar Award for Best Actress
Silver Bear for Best Actress at Berlin[28]
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
100% [29]
1990Lung Ta: Les cavaliers du ventNarratorMarie-Jaoul de Poncheville
Franz-Christoph Giercke
1993Toxic AffairPénélopePhilomène Esposito
1994Queen MargotMargotPatrice ChéreauCésar Award for Best Actress75% [30]
1996DiaboliqueMia BaranJeremiah S. Chechik12% [31]
1998PaparazziHerselfAlain Berbérian
1999Bonne NuitYvette
2002Repentie, LaLa RepentieCharlotte/LeïlaLaetitia Masson
AdolpheEllénoreBenoît JacquotCabourg Romantic Film Festival Award for Best Actress
2003Bon voyageViviane DenversJean-Paul Rappeneau76% [32]
Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du CoranThe StarFrançois Dupeyron85% [33]
2008FigaroCountess AlmavivaJacques Weber
journée de la jupe, LaLa journée de la jupeSonia BergeracJean-Paul LilienfeldCésar Award for Best Actress
Television Festival Award for Best Actress
2010MammuthThe Lost Love of SergeGustave de Kervern
Benoît Delépine
Entered into the 60th Berlin International Film Festival63% [34]
2011AïchaDoctor AssoussaYamina BenguiguiTV Series (1 Episode : "Job à tout prix")
De ForceClara DamicoFrank Henry
2012David et Madame HansenMadame Hansen-BergmannAlexandre Astier
2013Ishkq in ParisMarie ElisePrem Raj
2014Sous les jupes des fillesLiliAudrey Dana



  1. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Isabelle Adjani". Allmovie. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  2. ^ People Magazine. "Isabelle Adjani Has the Face That's Launching a Thousand Scripts". Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Love Film. "French Heartbreakers". Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Chantal, Thompson; Phillips, Elaine (2012), "Trois grandes stars françaises: Isabelle Adjani", Mais Oui!, Volume 1, Cengage Learning, p. 13, ISBN 1-111-83582-9 
  5. ^ Auzias, Dominique; Labourdette, Jean-Paul (2006), "Les comediens: Isabelle Adjani", Hauts de Seine, Petit Futé, p. 35, ISBN 2-7469-1351-8 
  6. ^ The Middle East Quarterly. "Islam in France: The French Way of Life Is in Danger". Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Isabelle Adjani : « Mon père, kabyle, s'était engagé dans l'armée française à 16 ans, et c'est en remontant d'Italie jusqu'en Bavière à la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale qu'il rencontre et séduit ma mère » Interview with Isabelle Adjani, Télérama, 31 March 2009
  8. ^ « Allemande rencontrée en Bavière qu'épousa à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale Mohammed Adjani, soldat kabyle de l'armée française », Jean de La Guérivière, Amère Méditerranée: Le Maghreb et nous, Seuil, 2004, p.391
  9. ^ "Ma mère était bavaroise. Elle se sentait très mal en France, où elle était arrivée sans parler un mot de français. Elle ne supportait pas que son mari soit algérien. Elle disait qu'il était d'origine turque et je le croyais. Entre mes parents, il y avait un racisme conjugal. Ma mère traitait mon père de crouille et mon père lui répondait : Sale boche. Il s'appelait Mohammed mais ma mère l'avait obligé à changer de prénom. Sur notre boîte aux lettres, il y avait: Cherif Adjani. Mamère trouvait que ça faisait américain.", Adjani la vérité, Interview Isabelle Adjani, Le Nouvel Observateur, 1985
  10. ^ a b c "Isabelle Adjani". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Kemp, Philip. "Isabelle Adjani". Film Reference. Retrieved 8 September 2008. 
  12. ^ Applefield, David (November 2001). "Isabelle Adjani". Paris Voice. 
  13. ^ Isabelle Adjani at the Internet Movie Database
  14. ^ Pauline Kael Reviews, Retrieved on 8 September 2008.
  15. ^ Kael, Pauline (1980). When The Lights Go Down. Henry Holt & Co. ISBN 0-03-042511-5. 
  16. ^ "La journée de la jupe". 
  17. ^ "The 50 Most Beautiful Woman in Film". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Watson, Shane (15 August 2004). "The dumping game". The Times (UK). Retrieved 19 June 2007. 
  19. ^ "Adjani traite le pape de "peste blanche"". 20 Minuten. 25 March 2009. 
  20. ^ "Légion d'honneur : Aubrac, Bouygues, Pérol, Adjani, Bolling parmi les promus", Le Monde, 14 juillet 2010
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Berlinale: 1989 Prize Winners". Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]