Jean-Louis Trintignant

Actor, Director, Screenwriter
Coolly cerebral and internal where French New Wave peers Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon leaned toward the physical and intense, Jean-Louis Trintignant enjoyed a five-decade career as an actor in some of arthouse ... Read more »
Born: 12/10/1930 in Piolenc, Vaucluse, FR


Actor (87)

Amour 2012 (Movie)

Georges (Actor)

Janis and John 2003 (Movie)


Words In Progress 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train 1999 (Movie)

Jean-Baptiste Emmerich (Actor)

A Self-Made Hero 1997 (Movie)

Albert Dehousse (Actor)

Tykho Moon 1996 (Movie)

Doctor (Actor)

Fiesta 1995 (Movie)


Les Menteurs 1995 (Movie)


The City of Lost Children 1995 (Movie)

of Irvin (Voice)

Passione d'amore 1994 (Movie)

Doctor (Actor)

Red 1994 (Movie)

Judge Joseph Kern (Actor)

Regarde les hommes tomber 1994 (Movie)

Marx (Actor)

L' Instinct de l'Ange 1992 (Movie)

The Colonel (Actor)

Merci, la vie 1991 (Movie)

The SS Officer (Actor)

Bunker Palace Hotel 1989 (Movie)

Holm (Actor)

La Nuit de Varennes 1989 (Movie)

Monsieur Sauce (Actor)

La Vallee fantome 1987 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Rendez-vous 1987 (Movie)

Scrutzler (Actor)

Femmes de personne 1986 (Movie)

Gilquin (Actor)

L' Ete Prochain 1986 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

La Femme de ma vie 1986 (Movie)

Pierre (Actor)

Le Moustachu 1986 (Movie)

The General (Actor)

Un Homme et une femme: Vingt ans deja 1986 (Movie)

Jean-Louis Duroc (Actor)

Quinze Aout 1985 (Movie)


L' Homme aux yeux d'argent 1984 (Movie)

Inspector Mayene (Actor)

Confidentially Yours 1983 (Movie)

Julien Vercel (Actor)

Partir Revenir 1983 (Movie)

Roland Riviere (Actor)

Surtuz Egy Fekete Bivalyert 1983 (Movie)

Mr Fodo (Actor)

Viva la Vie! 1983 (Movie)


La Crime 1982 (Movie)

Christian Lacassagne (Actor)

Le Bon Plaisir 1982 (Movie)

President (Actor)

Under Fire 1982 (Movie)

Marcel Jazy (Actor)

A Blow to the Heart 1981 (Movie)

Dario (Actor)

Eaux Profondes 1981 (Movie)

Vic Allen (Actor)

Le Grand Pardon 1980 (Movie)

Duche (Actor)

Une Affaire d'Hommes 1980 (Movie)

Fguet (Actor)

I Love You 1979 (Movie)

Julien (Actor)

La Banquiere 1979 (Movie)

Vannister (Actor)

Faces of Love 1978 (Movie)


La Terrazza 1978 (Movie)


Le Maitre-Nageur 1978 (Movie)

Jardinier (Actor)

Melancolie Baby 1978 (Movie)

Pierre (Actor)

L' Argent des autres 1977 (Movie)

Henri Rainier (Actor)

Les Passagers 1976 (Movie)

Alex (Actor)

Reperages 1976 (Movie)

Victor (Actor)

Flic Story 1975 (Movie)

Buisson (Actor)

L' Ordinateur des pompes funebres 1975 (Movie)

Fred (Actor)

La Donna Della Domenica 1975 (Movie)

Massimo (Actor)

Le Desert des tartares 1975 (Movie)

Doctor-Major Rovine (Actor)

Voyage de Noces Le 1975 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Il Pleut sur Santiago 1974 (Movie)

Senator (Actor)

Le Jeu avec le feu 1974 (Movie)

Frantz (Actor)

Defense de savoir 1973 (Movie)

Laubre (Actor)

L' Agression 1973 (Movie)

Varlin (Actor)

Le Mouton Enrage 1973 (Movie)

Nicolas Mallet (Actor)

Le Secret 1973 (Movie)

David (Actor)

L' Escapade 1972 (Movie)

Ferdinand (Actor)

Le Train 1972 (Movie)

Meyereu (Actor)

Les Violons du Bal 1972 (Movie)

Director (Actor)

Un Homme Est Mort 1972 (Movie)

Lucien (Actor)

L' Attentat 1971 (Movie)

Darien (Actor)

La Course du lievre a travers les champs 1971 (Movie)

Tony (Actor)

My Night at Maud's 1970 (Movie)

Jean-Louis (Actor)

Sans Mobile Apparent 1970 (Movie)

Carella (Actor)

The Conformist 1970 (Movie)

Marcello (Actor)

Las Secretas Intenciones 1969 (Movie)


The American 1969 (Movie)

Bruno (Actor)

Z 1969 (Movie)

Magistrate (Actor)

The Love Circle 1968 (Movie)

Michel (Actor)

The Libertine 1967 (Movie)

DeMarchi (Actor)

A Man and a Woman 1966 (Movie)

Jean-Louis Duroc (Actor)

Is Paris Burning? 1966 (Movie)

Serge (Actor)

Les Biches 1966 (Movie)

Paul Thomas (Actor)

My Love, My Love 1966 (Movie)

Vincent (Actor)

The Sleeping Car Murders 1966 (Movie)

Eric (Actor)

Chateau en Suede 1963 (Movie)

Eric (Actor)

Mata Hari, Agent H-21 1963 (Movie)

Capt Francois Lassalle (Actor)

The Seven Deadly Sins 1963 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Le Combat dans l'ile 1961 (Movie)

Clément (Actor)

Songs 1961 (Movie)

Roberto (Actor)

Spotlight On Murder 1961 (Movie)

Jean-Marie (Actor)

Austerlitz 1960 (Movie)


Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (Movie)

Danceny (Actor)

The Easy Life 1960 (Movie)

Roberto Mariani (Actor)

Violent Summer 1960 (Movie)

Carlo Romanazzi (Actor)

And God Created Woman 1956 (Movie)

Michel (Actor)

Si Tous les Gars du Monde... 1955 (Movie)

Jean-Louis (Actor)
Director (2)

Le Maitre-Nageur 1978 (Movie)


Une Journee bleu remplie 1971 (Movie)

Writer (1)

Une Journee bleu remplie 1971 (Movie)



Coolly cerebral and internal where French New Wave peers Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon leaned toward the physical and intense, Jean-Louis Trintignant enjoyed a five-decade career as an actor in some of arthouse cinema's most acclaimed films, from "And God Created Woman" (1956) and "A Man and a Woman" (1966) to "Z" (1969), "Three Colors: Red: (1994) and "Amour" (2012). His languid features and economical performing style earmarked him for young romantics, which he personified in Claude Lelouch's international success "A Man and a Woman." But Trintignant resisted pigeonholing, preferring instead to play complicated, challenged figures on both sides of the law in dozens of political dramas and crime dramas during the late 1960s and early 1970s, most notably "The Conformist" (1970), as a faceless factotum who traded his basic values for social acceptance. His international profile faded in the 1980s, but he enjoyed returns to prominence with Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors: Red" (1994) and Michael Haneke's "Amour" (2012). Though never a major international star, Trintignant's vast and critically revered body of work made him one of the most respected actors of the 20th century on both sides of the pond.

Born Dec. 11, 1930 in the southeastern French commune of Piolenc, Jean-Louis Trintignant was the son of industrialist Raoul Trintignant and his wife, Claire, as well as the nephew of famed racecar drivers Louis and Maurice Trintignant. He relocated to Paris in 1950 to study drama before touring the country in various theater productions. Trintignant's first screen appearance came in the 1955 short "Pechineff," which was followed by supporting roles in features. His breakthrough came in Roger Vadim's "And God Created Woman" (1956), which cast him as the naïve young scion of a shipping family who succumbed to the charms of nubile waif Brigitte Bardot. An international success as well as a scandal for its frank sexuality, the film minted Trintignant as a star in the making, but his ascent was interrupted by mandatory military service, which took him away to Algiers. Upon his return from duty, Trintignant considered abandoning acting, but an offer to play Hamlet in Paris sparked his interest anew. From there, he played supporting and occasional lead roles for an impressive variety of top directors, including a reunion with Vadim for "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" (1956), Abel Gance's historical epic "Austerlitz" (1960) and Georges Franju's "Spotlight on a Murderer" (1961).

The following year, he enjoyed a major Continental hit with "La Sorpresso" ("The Easy Life," 1962), a male-bonding drama with Vittorio Gassman that spawned a sequel, "Il Successo," in 1963. The next few years offered Trintignant steady if unremarkable work until 1965's "The Sleeping Car Murders," which marked the beginning of his collaborations with Greek director Costa Gavras. The following year, he rocketed to international stardom with Claude Lelouch's "A Man and a Woman" (1966). Trintignant drew on his family's racing experience to play a Les Mans driver grieving the loss of his wife from suicide who entered into a hesitating relationship with widow Anouk Aimée. The deeply moving romance won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, among numerous other honors, and claimed the highest box office gross for any French film in the international market. More importantly, it marked Trintignant as a leading man whose wounded heart was the core of his appeal.

Trintignant avoided mass-market film projects for the next few years, preferring more eclectic fare like Claude Chabrol's "Les Biches" (1968), which cast him as the focal point of a love triangle with Stephane Audran, who was Trintignant's first wife prior to their divorce, after which she married Chabrol in 1964, and Jacqueline Sassard. More offbeat projects like the psychedelic Italian thriller "Death Laid an Egg" (1968), the spaghetti Western "The Great Silence" (1968), which cast him as a mute gunslinger, and Pasquale Festa Campanile's erotic drama "The Libertine" (1969), which helped to replace his romantic leading man identity with a more ambiguously moral screen persona which would soon come to define many of his screen roles. An exception to this new role came with "Z" (1969), his third collaboration with Costa-Gavras, who cast him as a Greek magistrate investigating the assassination of a politician (Yves Montand) by a military junta. The Oscar-nominated film not only provided Trintignant with his third international hit, but also the Best Actor prize from the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.

But for much of the 1970s, Trintignant worked in darker territory, again for some of the best directors in the world. He reaped widespread critical acclaim as a bureaucrat in Mussolini's government who sacrificed his values and identity to gain a normal life in Bernardo Bertolucci's hit "The Conformist" (1970), then played icy criminals in Lelouch's "Le Voyou" ("The Crook") (1970) and Jacques Deray's "The Outside Man" (1973), which provided him with a rare opportunity to film in America. Philippe Labro's "Sans Mobile Apparent" ("Without Apparent Motive") (1971) cast him as a police detective with intimate connections to a series of violent, seemingly unrelated murders, while "The Train" paired him with Romy Schneider as a Frenchman who fell for a German Jew fleeing the Nazis, respectively. Trintignant also made his directorial debut that same year with "Une Journee bien remplie" (1973), about a baker who dispatched the jurors who sentenced his son to execution.

Trintignant's characters grew more malefic as the decade progressed, from a rapist in "Love at the Top" (1974) to a killer in the thriller "Flic Story" ("Cop Story") (1975), though fewer of these efforts made it to American theaters. He enjoyed a comeback in 1978 with the Cesar-winning "L'argent des autres," in which he played a bank official framed by his superiors for a scandal. He then settled into an exceptionally prolific period of film appearances that included "Confidentially Yours" (1983), the final directorial effort for Francois Truffaut, and his first English-language film, "Under Fire" (1983). Trintignant reunited with Lelouch and Anouk Aimée for "A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later" (1986), though the results failed to recapture the magic of the original. He returned to minor films until 1994's "Three Colors: Red" (1994), the final film in director Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy, as well as the final screen effort prior to his death in 1996. Trintignant received considerable praise for his work in the film as a retired judge who eavesdropped on his neighbors. After playing an elderly version of Mathieu Kassovitz's character in the equally well-regarded "A Self Made Hero" (1996), Trintignant reduced his screen appearances to concentrate on theater work. He subsequently suffered a tremendous personal tragedy in 2003 when French singer Bertrand Cantat killed his daughter, actress Marie Trintignant, in a hotel room in Lithuania. He returned to film acting at the age of 81 as a retired music teacher whose wife (Emmanuelle Riva) suffered a debilitating stroke in director Michael Haneke's "Amour" (2012). The film claimed numerous European film awards, including the Palme d'Or from the 65th Cannes Film Festival, while Trintignant received a Best Actor nomination from the European Film Awards.

By Paul Gaita


Vincent Trintignant


Stephane Audran


Nadine Trintignant

married in 1960 divorced

Marie Trintignant

born on JAnuary 21, 1962 mother, Nadine Trintignant


left law school at age 20 to study acting in Paris



Co-starred with Emmanuelle Riva as an elderly couple whose relationship is tested in "Amour"


Appeared in French comedy "Janis and John"


Played dual roles in "Ceux qui m'aiment prendront le train/Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train"


Starred in "Red" the third part of Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors Trilogy"; film was also director's last film


Reprised role in "A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later," again directed by Claude Lelouch


Starred in François Truffaut's final film "Confidentially Yours"


First English language film, "Under Fire" opposite Nick Nolte and Gene Hackman


Directorial debut, "Une journée bien remplie ou Neuf meurtres insolites dans une même journée par un seul homme dont ce n'est pas le métier"; also co-wrote with Vincenzo Labella


Credited as dialogue collaborator in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris"


Rediscovered in film, "Un Homme et une Femme/A Man and a Woman" directed by Claude Lelouch


Breakthrough film role, acting opposite Brigitte Bardot in "And God Created Woman" from director Roger Vadim


Film debut, "If All the Guys in the World..."


Made theater debut in "To Each According to His Hunger"

Screen career interrupted when recruited into military service in Algeria for three years