- Category : Actress
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (9,27,42,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 2
Isabelle Adjani (born 27 June 1955) is a French film actress and singer. Adjani has appeared in 30 films since 1970, performing in French, English and German. She holds the record for the most César Awards for Best Actress, having received five: for Possession (1981) and Quartet, One Deadly Summer (1983), Camille Claudel (1988), Queen Margot (1994) and Skirt Day (2009).
Adjani was recognized with a double Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award for roles in two films in 1981. She received a Berlin Film Festival Best Actress Award in 1989. She also received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. In 2010 she was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.
Isabelle Yasmine Adjani was born in the 17th arrondissement of Paris to a German mother from Bavaria and an Algerian father from Constantine, Algeria. Her mother Augusta, called "Gusti", met her father near the end of World War II when he was in the French Army. They married and she returned with him to Paris, not speaking a word of French.
In an interview in 1985, Adjani explained that her mother Augusta used to say that her husband, Mohammed Cherif Adjani, was Turkish because she was ashamed of his Algerian origin. She asked him to take Cherif as his first name as it sounded more "American". Mohammed Cherif Adjani was a soldier in the French Army in World War II.
Adjani grew up bi-lingual, speaking French and German fluently. After winning a school recitation contest, Adjani began acting by the age of twelve in amateur theater.
At the age of 14, Adjani starred in her first motion picture, Le Petit bougnat (1970).
Adjani first gained fame as a classical actress at the Comédie française, which she joined in 1972. She was praised for her interpretation of Agnès, the main female role in Molière's L'École des femmes. She soon left the theatre to pursue a film career.
After minor roles in several films, she enjoyed modest success in the 1974 film La Gifle (or The Slap). The following year, she landed her first major role in François Truffaut's The Story of Adèle H. (1975). Critics praised her performance, with the American critic Pauline Kael describing her acting talents as "prodigious". Only nineteen when she made the film, Adjani was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar and quickly received offers for roles in Hollywood films, such as Walter Hill's 1978 crime thriller The Driver. She played Lucy in the German director Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of Nosferatu.
In 1981, Adjani received a double Cannes Film Festival's best actress award for her roles in the Merchant Ivory film Quartet, based on the novel by Jean Rhys, and in the horror film Possession (1981). The following year, she received her first César Award for Possession, in which she had portrayed a woman having a nervous breakdown. In 1983, she won her second César for her depiction of a vengeful woman in the French blockbuster One Deadly Summer.
That same year, Adjani released the French pop album Pull marine, written and produced by Serge Gainsbourg. She starred in a music video for the hit title song, "Pull Marine", which was directed by Luc Besson.
In 1988, she co-produced and starred in a biopic of the sculptor Camille Claudel. She received her third César and second Oscar nomination for her role in the film, which was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Following this recognition, she was chosen by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world.
She received her fourth César for the 1994 film Queen Margot, an ensemble epic directed by Patrice Chéreau. She received her fifth César for Skirt Day (2009), the most that any actress has received. The film features her as a middle school teacher in a troubled French suburb who takes her class hostage when she accidentally fires off a gun she found on one of her students. It was premiered on the French Arte channel on March 20, 2009, attaining a record 2.2 million viewers) and then in movie theaters on March 25, 2009.
In 2011 Adjani was named "The Most Beautiful Woman in Film" by the Los Angeles Times magazine.
In 1979 she had a son, Barnabe Nuytten, with the cinematographer Bruno Nuytten. Adjani was romantically linked to the actor Warren Beatty from 1986 to 1987. From 1989 to 1995, she had a relationship with Daniel Day Lewis, who left before the birth of their son, Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, in 1995.
Adjani was later engaged to the composer Jean Michel Jarre; they broke up in 2004.
In 2009, Adjani criticized statements by Pope Benedict XVI claiming that condoms are not an effective method of AIDS prevention.
In addition to specific awards for particular films, Adjani was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur on 14 July 2010 for her artistic contributions.