Christophe Guy Denis "Christopher" Lambert (/ˈlæmbərt/; 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.

Christopher Lambert
Lambert in June 2013
Christophe Guy Denis Lambert

(1957-03-29) March 29, 1957 (age 66)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • novelist
Years active1979–present
(m. 1988; div. 1994)
Jaimyse Haft
(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[1] was born in Great Neck, New York, on March 29, 1957, the son of Yolande Agnès Henriette (née de Caritat de Peruzzis),[2] and Georges Lambert-Lamond.[3] a French diplomat at the United Nations.[4] His father was Jewish.[5] Due to his father's work, Lambert moved with his parents to Switzerland at the age of two,[1] and was raised in Geneva and went to institute Florimont until his teenage years,[1] when the family moved to France and settled in Paris.[6] Lambert's debut in acting was in a school play age 12.[1]

Career edit

1979–1984 edit

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.[7] 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.[8] Released in 1984, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, was nominated for many awards.[8]

1985–2000 edit

In 1985, Lambert played the lead in Luc Besson's stylistic film Subway, about a man being hunted in the underground subways of Paris.[9]

In 1986, Russell Mulcahy's Highlander premiered.[10] In the film, Lambert starred as Connor MacLeod, an immortal warrior who could only be killed by decapitation.[10] The film became a cult hit and was an international box-office success, rock group Queen composed and performed the soundtrack,[6] and Lambert also appeared as MacLeod in the music video for Queen's "Princes of the Universe".[11]

In 1987, Lambert played the leading role of Salvatore Giuliano in The Sicilian,[12] 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.[13]

On November 1, 1991, the Highlander sequel, Highlander II: The Quickening premiered, reuniting Lambert with director Russell Mulcahy and fellow actor Sean Connery.[14] 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.[15] It was said, Lambert threatened to walk out of the project when it was nearing fruition, However, due to contractual obligations, he did reconsider.[15]

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.[15] He also appeared in the French crime thriller Max et Jérémie, co-starring Philippe Noiret and Jean-Pierre Marielle.[16]

In January 1993, Carl Schenkel's suspense thriller Knight Moves premiered, in which Lambert was both an executive producer and the lead.[17] Lambert plays a chess grandmaster suspected of murder.[17] Later that year, Stuart Gordon's science fiction film Fortress premiered, with Lambert playing the lead.[18] 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.[citation needed]

1994 saw the release of two collaborations with actor Mario Van Peebles.[15] They played the side by side leads in the action film Gunmen, and Van Peebles was the main villain in Highlander III: The Sorcerer.[15] 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.[15] 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.[19]

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.[20] 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,[20] on their journey to combat the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung and his forces in a tournament to save Earth.[20] Lambert later reprised the role in the MK Movie Skin Pack in the 2020 game Mortal Kombat 11.[20] 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.[21] 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.[12][22] Lambert was also an executive producer on Chris Columbus' Nine Months,[12] an English-language remake of Neuf mois.[12]

In 1996, Lambert was an executive producer and the lead in Nils Gaup's western film North Star, co-starring James Caan.[12] The same year he was a producer of When Saturday Comes, a football sport drama starring Sean Bean.[12]

In 1997, he starred in Gabriele Salvatores' cyberpunk science fiction film Nirvana.[16] 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.[23] The same year, he also co-lead with Ice-T in the action film Mean Guns,[12] and starred in the French film Arlette by Claude Zidi.[12]

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.[16] In 1999, he produced and starred in Russell Mulcahy's Resurrection,[12] 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.[16]

In 2000, he played in the fourth installment of the Highlander franchise, Highlander: Endgame.[15] The film reunited him with Adrian Paul, and would be last sequel Lambert appeared in.[15] The same year, he was still on the run from authorities in the sequel Fortress 2: Re-Entry.[16]

2001–2010 edit

Lambert, Isabelle Huppert, and Claire Denis at the 66th Venice Film Festival

He also starred in John Glen's The Point Men, about a team of Israeli agents being killed off one-by-one after a botched anti-terrorist operation.[citation needed]

In 2003, he played in Absolon, a post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller film.[12]

He was an executive producer on the film The Confessor (also known as The Good Shepherd) starring Christian Slater, Molly Parker, and Stephen Rea.[citation needed] In 2006, he was an executive producer and star on the film Day of Wrath.[12] He also played a supporting role in Richard Kelly's Southland Tales.[12]

In 2007, he starred in the vampire film Metamorphosis.[12] He starred in the Sophie Marceau directed French film Trivial.[12] In 2009, Lambert was a lead in Claire Denis' White Material; both the film and Lambert's performance received critical acclaim.[24][6][25] 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.[6] The film has appeared on a number of critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2010.[26]

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.[citation needed]

2011–present edit

Lambert with Sophie Marceau in October 2012

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.[27] He underwent sword training for three months[28] and shaved his head.[29] The film made $132.6 million worldwide.[30]

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.[31]

In 2014, he played in the biographical crime drama film Electric Slide, about the Los Angeles-based bank robber Eddie Dodson.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

That year, he also played the lead villain in the martial arts film Kickboxer: Retaliation.[citation needed]

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.[32] It was selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.[33] Lambert received high praise for "an outstanding and nuanced performance; he is unrecognisable as Frenzel, a demonic, fractured character.[34]

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".[35]

Other ventures edit

Lambert has written two novels: La fille porte-bonheur in 2011 and Le juge in 2015.[36][37]

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.[38]

Personal life edit

Lambert was married to American actress Diane Lane from 1988 until their divorce in 1994.[39] Their daughter was born in 1993.[6] Lambert married American actress Jaimyse Haft in 1999, and they divorced in 2000.[citation needed] From 2007 to 2014, he dated French actress Sophie Marceau.[40][41]

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.[42]

Filmography edit

Year Title Role Language Notes
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 Douchka French TV film
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 Highlander Connor MacLeod English
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 Gunmen Dani Servigo English
1994 Roadflower Jack English
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 Nirvana Jimi Dini Italian
1997 Arlette Frank Martin French as Christophe Lambert
1997 Mean Guns Lou English
1999 Operation Splitsville Max, P.E. Teacher English
1999 Resurrection John Prudhomme English also writer
1999 Beowulf Beowulf English
1999 Gideon Gideon Oliver Dobbs English
2000 Fortress 2: Re-Entry John Henry Brennick English
2000 Highlander: Endgame Connor MacLeod English
2001 Aparté Short film
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 Metamorphosis Constantine Thurzo English
2007 Trivial Jacques French as Christophe Lambert
2008 The Chauffeur (Kierowca) Devereaux Polish
2009 White Material Andre Vial French as Christophe Lambert [6]
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 Mothers[43] English Film
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[44][45] English In development

Video games edit

Year Title Role Language Notes
2020 Mortal Kombat 11 Raiden ("Earthrealm") English Voice and model based on his past performance as the character in the 1995 live action film[46]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Christophe Lambert". Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  2. ^ "Yolande Agnès Henriette Lambert, Christopher Lambert's mother". July 5, 1928. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "Georges Lazare Maurice Lambert-Lamond, Christopher Lambert's father". September 5, 1910. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  4. ^ "Association of Former International Civil Servants - Geneva AFICS Bulletin Vol.62, No.5, December 2003" (PDF). December 1, 2003. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Brown, Annie (December 17, 2018). "Highlander icon Christopher Lambert looks back on Scottish cult classic 32 years on". Daily Record. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Davies, Lizzie (June 17, 2010). "How Christophe Lambert went from action flops to arthouse acclaim". The Guardian. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "The Charlotte News, 29 March 1984". The Charlotte News. March 29, 1984. p. 41. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "The Secrets Behind That Other Tarzan Movie — The One That Earned a Dog a Screenwriting Oscar Nomination". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 6, 1985). "The Screen: 'Subway'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "AFI Catelog of Feature Films 1893–1993 - Highlander (1986) 7 March 1986". Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  11. ^ Bartkowiak, Matthew (2010). Sounds of the Future: Essays on Music in Science Fiction Films. North Carolina: McFarland & Co. p. 19. ISBN 978-0786444809. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Christopher Lambert",, retrieved February 23, 2023
  13. ^ "To Kill a Priest",, retrieved March 29, 2018
  14. ^ "AFI Catelog of Feature Films 1893–1993 - Highlander II: The Quickening". Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Williams, Owen. "Highlander: a history". Empire. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Christopher Lambert Filmography",, retrieved April 20, 2019
  17. ^ a b "AFI Catelog of Feature Films 1893–1993 - Knight Moves (1993)". Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  18. ^ "AFI Catelog of Feature Films 1893–1993 - Fortress (1993)". Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  19. ^ "Neuf mois",, 1994, retrieved February 22, 2023
  20. ^ a b c d Yin-Poole, Wesley (November 25, 2020), "Mortal Kombat 11's Klassic movie skin pack gives us the Christopher Lambert Raiden we remember",
  21. ^ O'Bryan, Joey (March 3, 1995), "The Hunted 1995",
  22. ^ "Don't Forget You're Going to Die (N'oublie pas que tu vas mourir)",, retrieved November 21, 2013
  23. ^ "Nirvana - Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  24. ^ "Review: Running Scared: Claire Denis' White Material". September 15, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  25. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  26. ^ "Top Tens: January 8, 2011". Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  27. ^ "Announcement of Ghost Rider 2 casting". Official Christopher Lambert Website. November 17, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  28. ^ "Ghost Rider 2 Casting Updates". October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on December 25, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  29. ^ "La bonne étoile de Christophe Lambert" (in French). February 25, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  30. ^ "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "ratings » Television and Record Industry History Resources". Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Константин Хабенский стал режиссером фильма "Собибор"". Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
  33. ^ Kozlov, Vladimir (September 10, 2018). "Oscars: Russia Selects 'Sobibor' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  34. ^ Brown, Annie (December 17, 2018). "Highlander icon Christopher Lambert looks back on Scottish cult classic 32 years on". Daily Record. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  35. ^ Stephan, Farber (September 10, 2018). "'Bel Canto': Film Review." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  36. ^ LAMBERT, Christophe (February 24, 2011). La fille porte-bonheur. Paris: Plon. ISBN 9782259213141.
  37. ^ Lambert, Christophe (August 17, 2015). Le juge (in French). Plon. ISBN 9782259230032.
  38. ^ "Christophe Lambert & Eric Beaumard Interview - Les Garrigues | Gayot". Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  39. ^ Dougherty, Margot; Hutchings, David (February 13, 1989). "Diane Lane, with a New Husband and No Fear of Flying, Takes Wing Again in Lonesome Dove". People. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  40. ^ Atkinson, Michael (2008). Exile cinema: filmmakers at work beyond Hollywood. SUNY Press. pp. 82–86.
  41. ^ "Sophie Marceau interview". (in German). September 6, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  42. ^ "From Apeman to Mogul". EW. September 23, 1993. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  43. ^ "Mothers (2017)". Archived from the original on January 23, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  44. ^ Jeremy Kay: Finnish creature feature ‘The Creeps’ starring Christopher Lambert gears up for production start (exclusive), 'Screen Daily, March 5, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  45. ^ Brad Miska: ‘The Creeps’: Christopher Lambert Celebrates Monsterfest In Finnish Creature Feature, Bloody Disgusting, March 8, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  46. ^ @MortalKombat (November 23, 2020). "🤔 #MKUltimate" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links edit