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Juliette Binoche

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Basic Information

Juliette Binoche

Date of Birth: 1964
Place of Birth: Paris, France
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)


Juliette Binoche, daughter of an actress and a sculptor, was only 23 when she first attracted the attention of international film critics with The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times film critic with an international following of his books on film and TV reviews, wrote that she was "almost ethereal in her beauty and innocence". That innocence was gone by the time Binoche completed Louis Malle's Damage (1992) (aka "Fatale"). In an interview after the film was released, Binoche said: "Malle was trying direct and wanted something more sophisticated". A year later, Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors: Blue (1993) was added to her film credits. After a sabbatical from film-making to become a mother in 1994, Binoche was selected as the heroine of France's most expensive ($35 million) movie ever: The Horseman on the Roof (1995). More recently, she has made The English Patient (1996), for which she won an Oscar for 'Best supporting actress' and Chocolat (2000).


  • Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#48) (1995).
  • Turned down the lead in Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Ranked #93 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list (October 1997).
  • Chosen by "People" magazine as one of "the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World" (1997).
  • Gave birth to her son Raphaël, whose father is Andre Halle, a professional scuba driver, on 2 September 1993.
  • In 1996, she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in The English Patient (1996). Legendary actress Lauren Bacall was roundly expected to win in that category for her performance in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), but Binoche won the Oscar instead, in one of the biggest surprise wins in Oscar history. In her acceptance speech, she said, "I don't have a speech prepared. I thought Lauren would get it."
  • Her parents divorced when she was four, so she grew up living between each parent and a Catholic boarding school.
  • Had a daughter, Hannah, with French actor Benoît Magimel, born in December 16th 1999.
  • Companion of Benoît Magimel from 1999 to 2003.
  • Sister of actress/photographer Marion Stalens and older half-sister of Camille Humeau, born in the late 70's.
  • Learned to play the violin for Alice and Martin (1998).
  • Appeared in the 1998 play "Naked" in London.
  • She is the highest paid French actress in history (2002)
  • Companion of Leos Carax between 1986 and 1991.
  • She was the companion of Olivier Martinez between 1994 and 1997.
  • Joanne Harris, the author of Chocolat (2000), was stunned one weekend when she opened the front door of her small house in Barnsley, Yorkshire. On her doorstep was French actress Juliette Binoche, who had landed the lead role for the Film version of Joanne's book. Juliette loved the book and wanted to meet Joanne and she spent the weekend at the house as they discussed the book and the film to come. Juliette met Joanne's young daughter and she borrowed her bedroom to stay over for the weekend. Juliette returned the favour by inviting her to the States as a guest of Miramax films for the Oscars.
  • Was the advertising face of Lancome perfume "Poeme" from 1995 to 2000
  • In Jan 2003 she became the new face for Italian Pret-a-Porter line, Gentryportofino.
  • She is affectionately known by the French press simply as "La Binoche".
  • Number 88 on Channel 4 (UK)'s 100 Greatest movie Stars.
  • She has turned down Hollywood many times.
  • In 1990, she wrote to the president of France, François Mitterrand, to ask him for funds for her film The Lovers on the Bridge (1991). However he didn't help. In 1993, Mitterand asked Binoche to dinner at the presidential palace in Paris. When asked by the press why he invited her, he said "I dreamt one night that I kissed her, now I hope she will be my mistress". Binoche declined the invitation. Soon after, they bumped into each other in a Paris market and had a long discussion about art, love, books and poetry.
  • Is an avid painter. In 1994, she exhibited work done in collaboration with the designer Christian Fenouillat. She has also designed posters for a number of her movies including The Lovers on the Bridge (1991) and The Children of the Century (1999). Binoche is currently working on a poster for In My Country (2004).
  • In 2000, during promotion for the film Chocolat (2000), Binoche was invited to the White House by then president Bill Clinton. However, she was unable to make the trip as she was starring in a Broadway re-vamp of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal". Instead, the Clintons came to New York to meet Binoche.
  • Binoche and Merle Oberon have both played George Sand - in The Children of the Century (1999) and in A Song to Remember (1945) respectively. They have also both played Cathy in "Wuthering Heights"; Binoche in the 1992 version and Oberon in the 1939 version.
  • Wrote the preface for the French book "Le grand livre de la tendresse", published in 2002.
  • Appears on the cover of Lauren Lawrence's book, "Private Dreams of Public People".
  • Last name is pronounced "Bee-nosh".
  • Was nominated for Broadway's 2001 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for a revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal."
  • Once worked as a cashier.
  • Godmother to nine Cambodian children.
  • Graduated from the CNSAD (National Conservatory of Dramatic Art of Paris)
  • Her grandmother was Polish actress from Czestochowa, named Mlynarczyk.
  • Companion of actor Mathieu Amalric from 2003 to 2004.
  • Was offered the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park (1993), but turned it down to make Three Colors: Blue (1993).
  • Contributed a chapter to the book "Truth: Personas, Need, and Flaws in the Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters" by her friend and acting consultant Susan Batson.
  • Appeared in her first Playboy spread aged 43 in the November 2007 French edition.
  • She returned as the face of Lancome perfume "Poeme" in January 2008 after an 8 year break.
  • Supported José Bové in the 2007 presidential campaign.
  • Favorite book: "Talking With Angels" by Gitta Mallasz.
  • Nelson Mandela is the public figure the actress most admires.
  • Gael García Bernal lists Juliette Binoche as his favorite actress.
  • Is of French, Polish, Flemish, Brazilian and Moroccan descent.
  • Close friends with her The English Patient (1996) costar Ralph Fiennes.
  • She is the first actress to win the European 'Triple Crown': Best Actress at Venice, Berlin and Cannes film festivals for Trois Couleurs Bleu, The English Patient and Copie Conforme respectively.
  • Had a rate of 800 000 euros in 2004.
  • Is one of 5 French actors to have won an Academy Award. The others in chronological order are: Claudette Colbert for It Happened One Night (1934), Simone Signoret for Room at the Top (1959), Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose (2007) and Jean Dujardin for The Artist (2011/I).
  • Is one of 12 French actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination. The others in chronological order are: Claudette Colbert, Colette Marchand, Leslie Caron, Simone Signoret, Anouk Aimée, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Catherine Deneuve, Marion Cotillard, Bérénice Bejo and Emmanuelle Riva.
  • Was one of France's highest paid actresses during the 1990s, earning up to nearly $1 million per film.