June 27, 1955 (68)
Isabelle Adjani, a French actress and singer of Algerian and German descent, stands out in the cinematic world for her unique blend of talent and heritage. She has the distinction of being the only performer to win five César Awards for acting, all in the Best Actress category, for her roles in “Possession” (1981), “One Deadly Summer” (1983), “Camille Claudel” (1988), “La Reine Margot” (1994), and “Skirt Day” (2009). Her contributions to the arts were recognized with her appointment as a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2010 and a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2014.
Adjani’s career took a significant turn with her portrayal of Adèle Hugo in “The Story of Adèle H.” (1975), which earned her the first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress at the young age of 20, making her the youngest nominee in that category at the time. Her role in “Camille Claudel” brought her a second Best Actress nomination, marking her as the first French actress to receive two Academy Award nominations for foreign-language films. She also won the Cannes Film Festival Award for her performances in “Possession” and “Quartet” (1981), becoming the only actress to win for two films in the same competition slate, and a Silver Bear for “Camille Claudel”. Her filmography includes notable roles in “The Tenant” (1976), “The Driver” (1978), “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979), “Subway” (1985), “Ishtar” (1987), “Diabolique” (1996), “French Women” (2014), and “The World Is Yours” (2018).
Adjani’s collaborations with other artists have been a significant aspect of her career. She worked with director François Truffaut in “The Story of Adèle H.”, forming a remarkable director-actress duo. Her collaboration with Bruno Nuytten in “Camille Claudel” was both critically acclaimed and personally significant, as Nuytten was her partner at the time. In “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979), she worked alongside Klaus Kinski under the direction of Werner Herzog, creating a memorable film experience. Her on-screen partnership with Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992) was notably dynamic. Adjani has also worked with Gérard Depardieu in “Camille Claudel”, Vincent Perez in “Queen Margot”, Stanislas Merhar in “La Repentie” (2002), and Sharon Stone in “Diabolique” (1996). Additionally, her collaborations with Jean-Hugues Anglade in “Subway” (1985) and Michel Serrault in “Mortelle randonnée” (1983) further showcase her versatility.
Throughout her illustrious career, Adjani has been honored with numerous awards and distinctions. She is a record five-time winner of the César Award for Best Actress, showcasing her unparalleled ability to immerse herself in complex characters. Her performance in “Possession” earned her the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and she received a Silver Bear for her role in “Camille Claudel”.