An ethereal beauty as well as one of the most formidable actresses of her generation, Isabelle Adjani won more Cesars - the French equivalent of the Oscar - than any other performer in history on the strength of her heart-rending performances in such acclaimed films as ""The Story of Adèle H. " (1975), "Camille Claudel" (1988) and "Queen Margot" (1994). In these and other pictures, Adjani struck deep into the passionate, conflicted cores of her heroines, fleshing out their desires and sadness in extraordinarily nuanced performances, which earned her the respect of the critical press around the globe. She was less successful in winning over other members of the media, due to her reluctance to participate in the glad-handing and posturing that accompanied film promotion, as well as her stands on racial discrimination against North African immigrants like her Algerian father. Though her output slowed in the new millennium, her 2009 Cesar win for "La journée de la jupe" showed that Adjani had lost none of her power to mesmerize audiences with the scope and breadth of her astonishing talents. She remained one of France's national treasures, an actress by which all others could measure their abilities, for nearly four decades.