One of France's most respected leading men, Charles Berling emerged as a critical darling in the mid-1990s with art-house affairs such as director Patrice Leconte's "Ridicule" and the tense psychodrama "L'ennui. " A fixture on the Parisian stage throughout the 1980s, Berling made the transition to screen roles with bit parts in TV movies and miniseries. His breakthrough as an actor arrived when he was cast in the lavish 1996 costume comedy-drama "Ridicule," a role that earned him the first of three consecutive Best Actor César Award nominations. Berling racked up two more nominations in the next two years: for the dark comedy "Dry Cleaning" (1997) and the erotic melodrama "L'ennui" (1998). The critical attention was, for Berling, a commercial boon, and beginning in the 2000s the actor frequently appeared as the romantic lead in his films--making occasional forays into purely comedic roles and even a heartfelt performance as a gay art historian in Patrice Chéreau's "Ceux Qui M'Aiment Prendront le Train" (Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train).