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Jean-Louis Trintignant
Trintignant at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival
Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant

(1930-12-11) 11 December 1930 (age 91)
Piolenc, France
Alma materLa Fémis
OccupationActor, director, producer, racecar driver
Years active1951–present
(m. 1954⁠–⁠1956)

(m. 1960⁠–⁠1976)

Marianne Hoepfner
(m. 2000)
Children3, including Marie

Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃ lwi tʁɛ̃tiɲɑ̃]; born 11 December 1930) is a French actor, filmmaker and racecar driver. He made his theatrical debut in 1951, going on to be seen as one of the most gifted French dramatic actors of the post-war era, known for his starring roles in many classic films of European cinema.

He rose to prominence during the French New Wave period, making a critical and commercial breakthrough in And God Created Woman (1956), followed by a starmaking romantic turn in A Man and a Woman (1966). He won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 1968 Berlin International Film Festival for his performance in The Man Who Lies and the Best Actor Award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival for Z. He won the 2013 César Award for Best Actor for his role in Amour, the latest of four previous nominations.

Trintignant's other notable films include The Great Silence (1968), The Conformist (1970), Flic Story (1975), Three Colours: Red (1994) and The City of Lost Children (1995). He has worked with many prominent auteur directors, including Costa-Gavras, Claude Lelouch, Claude Chabrol, Bernardo Bertolucci, Éric Rohmer, François Truffaut, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Michael Haneke.

Life and career

Trintignant was born in Piolenc, Vaucluse, the son of Claire (née Tourtin) and Raoul Trintignant, an industrialist.[1] At the age of twenty, Trintignant moved to Paris to study drama and made his theatrical debut in 1951, going on to be seen as one of the most gifted French actors of the post-war era. After touring in the early 1950s in several theater productions, his first motion picture appearance came in 1955 and the following year he gained stardom with his performance opposite Brigitte Bardot in Roger Vadim's And God Created Woman.

Trintignant's acting was interrupted for several years by mandatory military service[citation needed]. After serving in Algiers, he returned to Paris and resumed his work in film. He had the leading male role in A Man and a Woman, which at the time was the most successful French film ever screened in the foreign market.

In Italy, he was always dubbed into Italian, and he worked with Italian directors including Sergio Corbucci in The Great Silence, Valerio Zurlini in Violent Summer and The Desert of the Tartars, Ettore Scola in La terrazza, Bernardo Bertolucci in The Conformist and Dino Risi in The Easy Life.

Throughout the 1970s, Trintignant starred in numerous films, including the English-language films The Outside Man in 1971 and Under Fire in 1983. Following this, he starred in François Truffaut's final film, Confidentially Yours, and reprised his best-known role in the sequel A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later.

In 1994, he starred in Krzysztof Kieślowski's last film, Three Colors: Red. Since then, he has taken an occasional film role but been focusing on stage work. After a 14-year gap, Trintignant came back on screen for Michael Haneke's film Amour.[2] Haneke sent Trintignant the script, which had been written specifically for him.[3] Trintignant said he chooses the films he does on the basis of the director and said of Haneke that "he has the most complete mastery of the cinematic discipline, from technical aspects like sound and photography to the way he handles actors". He worked with Haneke again in 2017 when he starred in Happy End.[3]

On 20 July 2018 Trintignant announced his retirement from cinema,[4] but in March 2019 he accepted a role in Claude Lelouch's film Les plus belles annees d'une vie, a follow-up to Un homme et une femme and its sequel Un homme et une femme, 20 ans dejà. In January 2021 he again accepted a role in a new film by Lelouch. The film, titled L'amour c'est mieux que la vie, will be released in France in January 2022.[5][6][7]

Personal life

Trintignant in 2007
Trintignant in 2007

Trintignant comes from a wealthy family. He is the nephew of racecar driver Louis Trintignant, who was killed in 1933 while practising on the Péronne racetrack in Picardy.[8] Another uncle, Maurice Trintignant (1917–2005), was a Formula One driver who twice won the Monaco Grand Prix as well as the 24 hours of Le Mans. Jean-Louis himself was an enthusiastic amateur rally driver and competed in a number of high-level rallies in the 1970s and 1980s, including several rounds of the World Rally Championship;[9] he finished first in his class in the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally.[10] Raised in and around automobile racing, Trintignant was the natural choice of film director Claude Lelouch for the starring role of a racecar driver in the 1966 film A Man and a Woman. He suffered a leg injury from a motorcycle accident in June 2007.[11]

His first wife was actress Stéphane Audran. His second wife, Nadine Marquand, was an actress, screenwriter and director. They had three children: Vincent, Pauline (who died of crib death in 1969) and Marie Trintignant (21 January 1962 – 1 August 2003). At age 17 Marie performed in La terrazza alongside her father and later became a successful actress. She was killed at the age of 41 by her boyfriend, singer Bertrand Cantat, in a hotel room in Vilnius, Lithuania.[12]

In 2018, Trintignant announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and would not be seeking treatment.[13] In November 2021, it was reported that he was gradually losing his sight and was in declining health.[14]

Selected filmography

Trintignant and his daughter Marie in 1979, on the set of La terrazza
Trintignant and his daughter Marie in 1979, on the set of La terrazza
Year Title Role Director Notes
1955 If All the Guys in the World Jean-Louis Christian-Jaque
1956 La Loi des rues Yves Tréguier Ralph Habib
And God Created Woman Michel Tardieu Roger Vadim
Women's Club Michel Ralph Habib
1959 Les liaisons dangereuses Danceny Roger Vadim
Violent Summer Carlo Caremoli Valerio Zurlini
1960 Austerlitz Ségur junior Abel Gance
1961 Pleins feux sur l'assassin Jean-Marie de Kerloguen Georges Franju
Journey Beneath the Desert Pierre Edgar G. Ulmer
1962 Horace 62 [fr] Joseph Fabiani André Versini [fr]
Le Combat dans l'île [fr] Clément Lesser Alain Cavalier
Il Sorpasso Roberto Mariani Dino Risi
1963 Château en Suède Éric Roger Vadim
1964 Mata Hari, Agent H21 François Lasalle Jean-Louis Richard
1965 The Sleeping Car Murders Éric Grandin Costa-Gavras
1966 A Man and a Woman Jean-Louis Duroc Claude Lelouch
Diamond Safari Raphaële Vincente Michel Drach
La Longue Marche Philippe Alexandre Astruc
Trans-Europ-Express Elias Alain Robbe-Grillet
1967 Un homme à abattre [fr] Raphaël Philippe Condroyer [fr]
Col cuore in gola Bernard Tinto Brass
My Love, My Love Vincent Falaise Nadine Trintignant
1968 Death Laid an Egg Marco Giulio Questi
Les Biches Paul Thomas Claude Chabrol
The Man Who Lies Jan Robin / Boris Varissa Alain Robbe-Grillet Berlin Film Festival — Silver Bear for Best Actor
The Great Silence Gordon ("Silence") Sergio Corbucci
The Libertine Carlo De Marchi Pasquale Festa Campanile
1969 Z Christos Sartzetakis Costa-Gavras Cannes Film Festival Best Actor
Metti, una sera a cena Michele Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
My Night at Maud's Jean-Louis Éric Rohmer
L'Américain [fr] Bruno Marcel Bozzuffi
So Sweet... So Perverse Jean Reynaud Umberto Lenzi
1970 The Conformist Marcello Clerici Bernardo Bertolucci
Le Voyou Simon Duroc Claude Lelouch
1971 Ramparts of Clay the entrepreneur Jean-Louis Bertucelli
L'Opium et le Bâton Chaudier Ahmed Rachedi
Without Apparent Motive Stéphane Carella Philippe Labro
1972 ...and Hope to Die Antoine Cardot René Clément
Plot François Darien Yves Boisset
The Outside Man Lucien Bellon Jacques Deray
1973 The Train Julien Maroyeur Pierre Granier-Deferre
A Full Day's Work directed
1974 Violins at the Ball Michel Michel Drach
Successive Slidings of Pleasure the police officer Alain Robbe-Grillet
Le Mouton enragé Nicolas Mallet Michel Deville
The Secret David Daguerre Robert Enrico
1975 L'Agression Paul Varlin Gérard Pirès
Flic Story Émile Buisson Jacques Deray
Il pleut sur Santiago Senator Helvio Soto
Playing with Fire le bel homme / l'homme de main Alain Robbe-Grillet
The Sunday Woman Massimo Campi Luigi Comencini
1976 The Desert of the Tartars Rovin Valerio Zurlini
1977 The Passengers Alex Moineau Serge Leroy
Repérages Victor Michel Soutter
1978 L'Argent des autres Henri Rainier Christian de Chalonge
1980 The Lady Banker Horace Vannister Francis Girod
La terrazza Enrico D'Orsi Ettore Scola
Je vous aime Julien Claude Berri
1981 Un assassin qui passe [fr] Ravic Michel Vianey [fr]
Passion of Love the doctor Ettore Scola
Malevil Fulbert Christian de Chalonge
Eaux profondes Vic Allen Michel Deville
1982 Le Grand Pardon [fr] Commissaire Duché Alexandre Arcady
Boulevard des assassins [fr] Daniel Salmon Boramy Tioulong [fr]
Blow to the Heart Dario Gianni Amelio
The Night at Varennes Monsieur Sauce Ettore Scola
1983 Confidentially Yours Julien Vercel François Truffaut
La Crime [fr] Christian Lacassagne Philippe Labro
Under Fire Marcel Jazy Roger Spottiswoode
1984 Viva la vie! François Gaucher Claude Lelouch
1985 Next Summer Paul Nadine Trintignant
Partir, revenir Roland Rivière Claude Lelouch
Rendez-vous Scrutzler André Téchiné
L'Homme aux yeux d'argent [fr] Mayene Pierre Granier-Deferre
1986 A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later Jean-Louis Duroc Claude Lelouch
La Femme de ma vie Pierre Régis Wargnier Nominated — César Award for Best Supporting Actor
1987 La vallée fantôme Paul Alain Tanner
1989 Bunker Palace Hôtel Holm Enki Bilal
1991 Merci la vie SS officier Bertrand Blier
1994 Three Colors: Red Joseph Kern Krzysztof Kieślowski Nominated — César Award for Best Actor
1995 The City of Lost Children L'oncle Irvin Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro Voice Only
Fiesta [fr] Colonel Masagual Pierre Boutron Nominated — César Award for Best Actor
1996 A Self Made Hero Albert Dehousse (the matured one) Jacques Audiard
1998 Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train Lucien Emmerich / Jean-Baptiste Emmerich Patrice Chéreau Nominated — César Award for Best Supporting Actor
2003 Janis et John [fr] Monsieur Cannon Samuel Benchetrit
2012 Amour Georges Michael Haneke César Award for Best Actor
European Film Award for Best Actor
Lumières Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actor
Nominated—International Cinephile Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
2017 Happy End Georges Laurent Michael Haneke
2019 The Best Years of a Life Jean-Louis Duroc Claude Lelouch


Trintignant was nominated to receive the César five times: in 1987, 1995, 1996, 1999 and in 2013.


  1. ^ "Jean-Louis Trintignant Biography (1930-)".
  2. ^ Cannes 2012, "Amour": le retour à la lumière de Jean-Louis Trintignant, Huffington Post in cooperation with Le Monde, 20 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b Rohter, Larry (2 November 2012). "Michael Haneke Directs Amour, With Jean-Louis Trintignant". New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  4. ^ Jean-Louis Trintignant says good-bye to the cinema and begins to say goodbye to life
  5. ^ "Love is Better Than Life (2021) - IMDb". IMDb.
  6. ^ "VIDEO. Claude Lelouch retrouve Anouk Aimée et Jean-Louis Trintignant pour l'épilogue d'"Un homme et une femme"". 15 March 2019.
  7. ^ "L'Amour c'est mieux que la vie". IMDb.
  8. ^ "1933 GRAND PRIX SEASON - 1933 Avusrennen (Avus grand prix), 1933 Picardie Grand Prix (Grand Prix de Picardie), 1933 Eifelrennen (Eifel Grand Prix), 1933 Targa Florio".
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Final results Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1981".
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Hugh Schofield (19 November 2013). "French killer Bertrand Cantat's controversial comeback". BBC News. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  13. ^ JEAN-LOUIS TRINTIGNANT. Âgé de 90 ans et malade d'un cancer, Jean-Louis Trintignant se fait de plus en plus discret. Quel est son état de santé ? (in French)
  14. ^ Jean-Louis Trintignant « plus en forme » : à 90 ans, « il perd peu à peu la vue » (in French)
  15. ^ "Berlinale 1968: Prize Winners". Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  16. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Z". Retrieved 9 April 2009.