Birthplace: Paris, France
Though known to American audiences first for her Academy Award winning performance as supporting actress in The English Patient (1996), the French actress had been active in films for over a decade before this role. She played opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) then went on to work with director Louis Malle and opposite Jeremy Irons in Damage (1992). Her work in Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy, Blue (1993), Red (1994) and White (1994) was critically acclaimed. She received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role in 2000's Chocolat. She joined Richard Gere in the 2005 adaptation of the novel Bee Season.