Christophe Guy Denis "Christopher" Lambert (//; French: [lɑ̃bɛʁ]; born March 29, 1957) is a French actor. He started his career playing supporting parts in several French films, and became internationally famous for portraying Tarzan in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984). For his performance in the film Subway (1985), he received the César Award for Best Actor. His most famous role is Connor MacLeod in the adventure-fantasy film Highlander (1986) and the subsequent franchise of the same name.
Christophe Guy Denis Lambert
March 29, 1957
Great Neck, New York, U.S.
(m. 1988; div. 1994)
(m. 1999; div. 2000)
Lambert's other notable film roles include I Love You (1986), The Sicilian (1987), Knight Moves (1992), Fortress (1992) and its sequel Fortress 2: Re-Entry (2000), Mortal Kombat (1995), Druids (2001), Absolon (2003), White Material (2009), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), and Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018). He also produced the films Don't Forget You're Going to Die (1995), Neuf mois (1994), and its English-language remake Nine Months (1995).
Early life edit
Christophe Guy Denis Lambert was born in Great Neck, New York, on March 29, 1957, the son of Yolande Agnès Henriette (née de Caritat de Peruzzis), and Georges Lambert-Lamond. a French diplomat at the United Nations. His father was Jewish. Due to his father's work, Lambert moved with his parents to Switzerland at the age of two, and was raised in Geneva and went to institute Florimont until his teenage years, when the family moved to France and settled in Paris. Lambert's debut in acting was in a school play age 12.
In 1984, director Hugh Hudson and Warner Brothers, sought out Lambert, wanting an unknown actor to play Tarzan, a human raised by apes in the jungle. Lambert got the role partly due to his myopia, because when he took off his glasses it seemed he was always looking into the distance. Released in 1984, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, was nominated for many awards.
In 1986, Russell Mulcahy's Highlander premiered. In the film, Lambert starred as Connor MacLeod, an immortal warrior who could only be killed by decapitation. The film became a cult hit and was an international box-office success, rock group Queen composed and performed the soundtrack, and Lambert also appeared as MacLeod in the music video for Queen's "Princes of the Universe".
In 1987, Lambert played the leading role of Salvatore Giuliano in The Sicilian, directed by Michael Cimino. In 1988, he starred in Agnieszka Holland's To Kill a Priest, in which he played a character based on Jerzy Popiełuszko and his murder under the Polish communist regime.
On November 1, 1991, the Highlander sequel, Highlander II: The Quickening premiered, reuniting Lambert with director Russell Mulcahy and fellow actor Sean Connery. Shot in Argentina to reduce production costs; which was going through a financial crisis, much of the script was not filmed and the final result was a patchwork. It was said, Lambert threatened to walk out of the project when it was nearing fruition, However, due to contractual obligations, he did reconsider.
In 1992, he appeared in three projects. He appeared in the first episode of the television show Highlander: The Series, passing on the lead role to actor Adrian Paul. He also appeared in the French crime thriller Max et Jérémie, co-starring Philippe Noiret and Jean-Pierre Marielle.
In January 1993, Carl Schenkel's suspense thriller Knight Moves premiered, in which Lambert was both an executive producer and the lead. Lambert plays a chess grandmaster suspected of murder. Later that year, Stuart Gordon's science fiction film Fortress premiered, with Lambert playing the lead. The story takes place in a dystopian future where a man and his wife are sent to a maximum-security prison because they are expecting a second child, which is against the strict one-child policy. The film was a success at the box-office.
1994 saw the release of two collaborations with actor Mario Van Peebles. They played the side by side leads in the action film Gunmen, and Van Peebles was the main villain in Highlander III: The Sorcerer. In this third installment of the franchise, Connor MacLeod is forced to face a new, dangerous enemy, a powerful sorcerer known as Kane who wants to gain world domination. Lambert also starred in the action film Roadflower. In France, he produced his second Patrick Braoudé film called Neuf mois, which was nominated for two Césars.
In 1995, he played the role of the thunder god Raiden in the Paul W. S. Anderson's movie adaptation of the popular video game series Mortal Kombat. The plot of the film follows the warrior monk Liu Kang, the actor Johnny Cage, and the soldier Sonya Blade, all three guided by the god Raiden, on their journey to combat the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung and his forces in a tournament to save Earth. Lambert later reprised the role in the MK Movie Skin Pack in the 2020 game Mortal Kombat 11. In 1995, he also starred in the American-Japanese martial arts action film The Hunted, directed by J. F. Lawton, with a cast that included John Lone, Joan Chen, Yoshio Harada, and Yoko Shimada. Also in 1995, he produced Xavier Beauvois's Don't Forget You're Going to Die, which won the Special Jury Award at the Gijón International Film Festival, won the Prix Jean Vigo, won the Jury Prize and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Lambert was also an executive producer on Chris Columbus' Nine Months, an English-language remake of Neuf mois.
In 1996, Lambert was an executive producer and the lead in Nils Gaup's western film North Star, co-starring James Caan. The same year he was a producer of When Saturday Comes, a football sport drama starring Sean Bean.
In 1997, he starred in Gabriele Salvatores' cyberpunk science fiction film Nirvana. The film tells the story of a virtual reality game designer, played by Lambert, who discovers that the main character of his game has achieved sentience due to an attack by a computer virus. The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The same year, he also co-lead with Ice-T in the action film Mean Guns, and starred in the French film Arlette by Claude Zidi.
In 1998, he produced and starred in Operation Splitsville, a remake of Génial, mes parents divorcent, which he produced several years earlier. The same year, he produced and played a man with a mental disability, who moved into a nursing home, in the film Gideon. In 1999, he produced and starred in Russell Mulcahy's Resurrection, where he plays a detective who is assigned to investigate the savage murder of a man who has bled to death from a severed arm. He also starred in science fantasy-action film Beowulf.
In 2000, he played in the fourth installment of the Highlander franchise, Highlander: Endgame. The film reunited him with Adrian Paul, and would be last sequel Lambert appeared in. The same year, he was still on the run from authorities in the sequel Fortress 2: Re-Entry.
He was an executive producer on the film The Confessor (also known as The Good Shepherd) starring Christian Slater, Molly Parker, and Stephen Rea. In 2006, he was an executive producer and star on the film Day of Wrath. He also played a supporting role in Richard Kelly's Southland Tales.
In 2007, he starred in the vampire film Metamorphosis. He starred in the Sophie Marceau directed French film Trivial. In 2009, Lambert was a lead in Claire Denis' White Material; both the film and Lambert's performance received critical acclaim. The film stars Isabelle Huppert as a struggling French coffee producer in an unnamed French speaking African country, who decides to stay at her coffee plantation in spite of an erupting civil war. The film has appeared on a number of critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2010.
That year, he also acted in Cartagena, with Sophie Marceau starring as a beautiful, free-spirited woman who becomes bedridden following a terrible accident. Against her better judgement, she hires a drunk middle-aged former boxer (Lambert) to cook and care for her. Although unqualified for the position, he is desperate for work, and slowly he wins the trust of the woman, who teaches him how to read. The film also won several awards in France.
In 2011, Lambert starred as the villainous head monk Methodius in the Ghost Rider sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, starring Nicolas Cage, in 2011. He underwent sword training for three months and shaved his head. The film made $132.6 million worldwide.
Shortly afterwards, he got the role of Marcel Janvier (alias "The Chameleon"), a recurring villain in award-winning hit police crime TV drama NCIS: Los Angeles. His character was in six episodes from 2012 to 2013 – the two highest-rated seasons of the show.
In 2015, he co-starred in Claude Lelouch's Un plus une, a French romantic comedy film. He also co-starred in the biographical film 10 Days in a Madhouse, about the experiences of undercover journalist Nellie Bly.
In 2016 he co-starred in Hail, Caesar!, a comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It is a fictional story that follows the real-life "fixer" Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanished during the filming of a biblical epic.
That year, he cameoed as a French Army Captain in La folle histoire de Max et Léon, a French World War II comedy film. He also had a recurring role in the Russian-Portuguese biographical television show Mata Hari.
Lambert plays the role of SS officer Karl Frenzel in the Russian film Sobibor by director Konstantin Khabensky, which was released in 2018. The film is a World War II drama about the only successful uprising in a Nazi death camp. It was selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. Lambert received high praise for "an outstanding and nuanced performance; he is unrecognisable as Frenzel, a demonic, fractured character.
Lambert was part of the ensemble cast of Bel Canto from director Paul Weitz, an adaptation of the 2002 novel of the same name, by Ann Patchett. Lambert played the role of a French ambassador who was part of the Japanese embassy hostage crisis (also called the Lima Crisis) of 1996–1997 in Lima, Peru. Lambert received praise, along with the rest of the cast, for "performances [that] are uniformly excellent".
Other ventures edit
Along with owning a mineral water business and food processing plant, Lambert produces Côtes du Rhône wines with his business partner Eric Beaumard at a vineyard in Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes. The label, Les Garrigues de Beaumard-Lambert, tops out at 4,000 cases and is sold mostly in Europe. Beaumard has primary creative control of the winery, but Lambert conducts barrel tests and monitors the various stages of the wine's evolution.
Personal life edit
Lambert was married to American actress Diane Lane from 1988 until their divorce in 1994. Their daughter was born in 1993. Lambert married American actress Jaimyse Haft in 1999, and they divorced in 2000. From 2007 to 2014, he dated French actress Sophie Marceau.
Lambert has profound myopia and cannot see without his glasses. He cannot wear contact lenses and often has to perform while virtually blind, which has led to injuries while performing his own stunts.
|1979||Ciao, les mecs||Thug at the dance party||French||Credited as Christophe Lambert|
|1980||The Telephone Bar||Paul "Bébé" Franchi||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1981||Asphalte||Un médecin à l'hôpital / The doctor||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1981||Une sale affaire||Mullard||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1981||Putain d'histoire d'amour||Inspecteur de police||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1982||Légitime violence||Jockey||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1982||Cinéma 16: La Dame de cœur||Marcel||French||TV series episode|
|1984||Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes||John Clayton / Tarzan||English|
|1985||Paroles et Musique||Jeremy||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1985||Subway||Fred||French||César Award for Best Actor as Christophe Lambert|
|1986||I Love You||Michel||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1987||The Sicilian||Salvatore Giuliano||English|
|1988||Priceless Beauty (a.k.a. Love Dream)||Menrou||English|
|1988||To Kill a Priest||Father Alek||English|
|1990||Why Me?||Gus Cardinale||English|
|1991||Highlander II: The Quickening||Connor MacLeod||English|
|1992||Knight Moves||Peter Sanderson||English|
|1992||Highlander: The Series||Connor MacLeod||English||TV (one episode)|
|1992||Max et Jérémie||Jeremie Kolachowsky||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1992||Fortress||John Henry Brennick||English|
|1993||Loaded Weapon 1||Man with Car Phone||English||Deleted scene, uncredited|
|1994||Highlander III: The Sorcerer||Connor MacLeod / Russell Nash||English|
|1995||The Hunted||Paul Racine||English|
|1995||Nine Months||—||English||Executive producer|
|1995||Mortal Kombat||Lord Rayden||English|
|1996||North Star||Hudson Saanteek||English||as Christophe Lambert|
|1996||Adrenalin: Fear the Rush||Lemieux||English|
|1996||Hercule et Sherlock||Vincent||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1997||Arlette||Frank Martin||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|1999||Operation Splitsville||Max, P.E. Teacher||English|
|1999||Resurrection||John Prudhomme||English||also writer|
|1999||Gideon||Gideon Oliver Dobbs||English|
|2000||Fortress 2: Re-Entry||John Henry Brennick||English|
|2000||Highlander: Endgame||Connor MacLeod||English|
|2001||Druids||Vercingetorix||English||as Christophe Lambert|
|2001||Mazinkaiser||Additional Voices||Video game|
|2001||The Point Men||Tony Eckhardt||English|
|2002||King of Bandit Jing||Additional Voices||TV miniseries, credited as Chris Lambert|
|2002||The Piano Player||Alex Laney||English|
|2003||Absolon||Detective Norman Scot||English|
|2003||Janis and John||Léon||French|
|2004||À ton image||Thomas||French|
|2005||Dalida||Richard Chanfray, Comte de Saint-Germain||French||TV miniseries|
|2006||Day of Wrath||Ruy de Mendoza||English|
|2006||Southland Tales||Walter Mung||English|
|2006||Le Lièvre de Vatanen||Tom Vatanen||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|2007||Trivial||Jacques||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|2008||The Chauffeur (Kierowca)||Devereaux||Polish|
|2009||White Material||Andre Vial||French||as Christophe Lambert |
|2009||Les Associés||Philippe Kaminski||French||TV film, credited as Christophe Lambert|
|2009||Cartagena||Leo||French||as Christophe Lambert|
|2010||Das Geheimnis der Wale||Chris Cassell||German||TV film|
|2011||Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance||Methodius||English|
|2013||Blood Shot||The President||English|
|2012–2013||NCIS: Los Angeles||Marcel Janvier / The Chameleon||English||TV series (6 episodes)|
|2014||Electric Slide||Roy Fortune||English|
|2015||Un plus une||Samuel Hamon||French|
|2016||Hail, Caesar!||Arne Slessum||English|
|2016||La folle histoire de Max et Léon||Captain Lassard||French||Also co-produced|
|2017||Mata Hari||Gustav Kramer||Russian||TV miniseries|
|2017||Everyone's Life||Antoine de Vidas||French|
|2017||Call My Agent!||Himself||French||TV series (1 episode)|
|2018||Kickboxer: Retaliation||Thomas Moore||English|
|2018||Sobibor||Karl Frenzel||Russian||Russian Holocaust film|
|2018||Bel Canto||Simon Thibault||English|
|2019||The Blacklist||Bastien Moreau / The Corsican||English||TV series|
|2020||Capitaine Marleau||Thierry Bégodeau||French||TV series|
|2021||The Creeps||English||In development|
Video games edit
|2020||Mortal Kombat 11||Raiden ("Earthrealm")||English||Voice and model based on his past performance as the character in the 1995 live action film|
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