Born: Châteauroux, France, 27 December 1948.
One of the principal leading men of the French cinema of the 70s and its top male star of the 80s. A juvenile delinquent in his teens, he took up acting as therapy, on the recommendations of a prison psychologist. While training at dramatic school, he made his film debut at 16 in Roger Leenhardt’s short, Le Beatnik et le Minet (1965). He lated performed on TV and on the stage, before returning to the screen for the long stretch in 1970. A strong, brawny man of powerful presence, with crude yet expressive facial features, he gradually evolved into a screen personality reminiscent of the late Jean Gabin: commanding, versatile, and amazingly prolific. His persuasive portrayals range from gruff to sensitive, from common men to prominent figures like Danton and Rodin. His Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) was praised by critics as the definitive portrait of the Rostand character. He won Césars for The Last Metro (1980) and Cyrano, and the best actor prize at Venice for Police (1985), among many other awards. He directed himself in La Tartuffe (1984) and co-produced Satyajit Ray’s Indian-French film Branches of the Tree (1990).