Isabelle Adjani was born on June 27th, 1955 in Paris, France. Her father was a member of the French army during WWII and although he did not speak French at the time, Adjani’s mother fell in love with him and the two were wed shortly after the war. Her father worked in a mechanic garage to help support his family.
Adjani was interested in performance and acting from an early age. When she was only 12 years old, she began acting in theatrical performances. At 14, she had her first film role, which was a starring role in Le Petit bougnant. Two years later, she joined the famous Comedie francaise, where she trained in classical acting. Although she continued to have an interest in theater, she decided to pursue a career in film instead.
In 1974, she had a notable role in a film called La Gifle–or “The Slap.” The famous Francois Truffaut loved her performance and cast her in his film The Story of Adele H, which earned her international praise at the tender age of 19. Her performance in the role ultimately earned her a nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. Her rising success earned her many film offers, including a role in the thriller The Driver in 1978. The film was a major success in France, although it only did modestly well in the United States.
Adjani’s next major role was as Lucy in the Herzog remake of the classic horror film, Nosferatu. Her performance was critically praised by many prominent film critics, including Roger Ebert. Throughout the 1980s, Adjani continued to act in European and American films. Her most notable roles included her award-winning role in Possession; another award-winning role in One Deadly Summer; and yet another award winning role in Quartet, directed by Merchant Ivory.
Adjani continued to act through the 1990s and 2000s. Her most memorable roles include a role in the epic historical film, Queen Margot, as well as her fifth Cesar award–making her the record holder of any actress–for Skirt Day.
In her personal life, Adjani has been linked in romantic relationships to various actors. In the 1970s, she had a romantic relationship with Bruno Nuytten, a cinematographer whom she worked with on several occasions. The couple had one son, Barnabe, in 1979. Adjani’s longest romantic relationship was with famous actor Daniel Day Lewis; the couple dated from 1989 to 1995, and had one son, Gabriel-Kane, who was born in 1995. The couple split up before the child was born. At one time, Adjani was engaged to Jean Michel Jarre, a French composer, however the pair split in 2004.
Adjani continues to act in film and television. Her latest roles include the role of Marie Elise in Ishkq in Paris; the film ultimately bombed in the box office. Her latest role was playing in Sous les jupes des filles, which was released in 2014. The film, a comedy, opened to a modest box office but fairly positive reviews.