THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Born in the small country town of Chateauroux in central France, GĂ‰RARD DEPARDIEU (Porthos) is one of the world's most respected and well-known actors
Born in the small country town of Chateauroux
in central France, GÉRARD DEPARDIEU (Porthos) is
one of the world's most respected and well-known actors. The
Man in the Iron Mask marks his 102nd film.
The third of six children of a poor sheet
metal worker, Depardieu left school at age 12 and by the time
he turned sixteen, found himself in Paris, where he gravitated
toward acting classes at the Theatre Nationale Populaire (TNP).
Since then, his work on the stage has included starring roles
in over 15 plays, including works by Marguerite Duras, Peter Hanke,
David Storey, Israel Horowitz, Moliere and Natalie Sarraute, among
From his motion-picture debut in Roger Leenhart's
Le Beatnik et le Minet (1965), Depardieu's roles in film,
theater and television have grown steadily in prominence, with
his 1973 performance as one of a pair of young louts in Bertrand
Blier's Going Places proving to be his breakthrough role.
Depardieu went on to star in five other films
for Blier: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Buffet Froid, Menage,
Too Beautiful For You and Merci la Vie. For Duras,
he appeared in four feature films, including Nathalie Granger
and Vera Baxter. Depardieu co-starred opposite Pierre
Richard in a trio of successful comedies directed by Francis Veber:
La Chevre, Les Comperes and Les Fugitifs.
He also made three films each for Alain Resnais,
Maurice Pialat and Claude Berri. For Resnais, he starred in Stavisky,
Mon Oncle D'Amerique and Je Veux Rentrer a la Maison.
His films with Pialat include Loulou, Police and Sous
Le Soleil du Satan, which was awarded the Palme d'Or for Best
Film at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. His collaborations with
Berri include the acclaimed Jean de Florette, Uranus and
Germinal, which was based on the work of Emile Zola.
Depardieu's numerous other roles include those
in Francois Truffaut's The Last Metro, for which Depardieu
won a French César as Best Actor; Bernardo Bertulucci's
1900; The Return of Martin Guerre, directed by Daniel Vigne;
Danton, directed by Andrzej Wajda, for which Depardieu
was named Best Actor by the National Society of Film Critics;
and Bruno Nuytten's Camille Claudel, in which he played
August Rodin opposite Isabelle Adjani's Camille.
In 1988, he reunited with actress Catherine
Deneuve in director Francois Dupeyron's Drole d'Endroit pour
une Rencontre, and in the same year made Deux with
director Claude Zidi. His role in Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Cyrano
de Bergerac won Depardieu numerous accolades, including a
César as Best Actor, a Best Actor award at the 1990 Cannes
Film Festival and an Academy Award® nomination as Best Actor.
In 1990, he joined Andie McDowell in his first
major English-language role in Green Card, directed by
Peter Weir, a performance which earned him a Golden Globe as Best
Actor in a Comedy. The following year, he starred as Christopher
Columbus in Ridley Scott's epic, 1492: Conquest of Paradise,
as well as the Satyajit Ray-directed Branches of the Tree/Shakha
Proshaka. He also starred in Mon Pere ce Heros in 1991,
and the American remake My Father the
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