Jean-Louis Trintignant

Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ lwi tʁɛ̃tiɲɑ̃]; 11 December 1930 – 17 June 2022) was a French actor. He made his theatrical debut in 1951, and went on to be regarded as one of the best French dramatic actors of the post-war era. He starred in many classic films of European cinema, and worked with many prominent auteur directors, including Roger Vadim, Costa-Gavras, Claude Lelouch, Claude Chabrol, Bernardo Bertolucci, Éric Rohmer, François Truffaut, Krzysztof Kieślowski, and Michael Haneke.

Jean-Louis Trintignant
Trintignant in Il Sorpasso (1962)
Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant

(1930-12-11)11 December 1930
Piolenc, France
Died17 June 2022(2022-06-17) (aged 91)
Collias, France
Alma materLa Fémis
  • Actor
  • film director
  • racecar driver
Years active1951–2019
(m. 1954; div. 1956)
(m. 1960; div. 1976)
Marianne Hoepfner
(m. 2000)
Children3, including Marie

He made a critical and commercial breakthrough in And God Created Woman (1956), followed by a starmaking romantic turn in A Man and a Woman (1966). He won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 1968 Berlin International Film Festival for his performance in The Man Who Lies and the Best Actor Award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival for Costa-Gavras's Z. Trintignant's other notable films include The Great Silence (1968), My Night at Maud's (1969), The Conformist (1970), Three Colours: Red (1994), and The City of Lost Children (1995). He won the 2013 César Award for Best Actor for his role in Michael Haneke's Amour.

Early life


Trintignant was born on 11 December 1930[1] in Piolenc, Vaucluse.[2] He had older brother by four years. During World War II, his father joined the resistance against the Nazi regime by aiding Jews, and his mother began an affair with Nazi officer. This horizontal collaboration affected Jean Louis his entire life.

He grew up with the intention of studying law, but he soon discovered an interest in acting and moved to Paris at the age of 20 to study drama, making his theatrical debut in 1951.[2] [3]


Trintignant and his daughter Marie in 1979, on the set of La terrazza

After touring in the early 1950s in several theater productions, his first motion picture appearance came in 1955, and the following year he gained stardom with his performance opposite Brigitte Bardot in Roger Vadim's And God Created Woman. Trintignant's acting was interrupted for several years by mandatory military service.[4] After serving in Algiers, he returned to Paris and resumed his work in film.[4] He had the leading male role in Claude Lelouch's film A Man and a Woman (Un homme et une femme, 1966), which was the most commercially successful French film internationally for some years.

In Italy, he was always dubbed into Italian, and he worked with Italian directors including Sergio Corbucci in The Great Silence, Valerio Zurlini in Violent Summer and The Desert of the Tartars, Ettore Scola in La terrazza, Bernardo Bertolucci in The Conformist, and Dino Risi in The Easy Life.

Throughout the 1970s, Trintignant starred in many films, including the English-language films The Outside Man in 1971 and Under Fire in 1983. Following this, he starred in François Truffaut's final film, Confidentially Yours, and reprised his best-known role in the sequel A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later (Un homme et une femme, 20 ans dejà, 1986).[5]

In 1994, he starred in Krzysztof Kieślowski's final film, Three Colors: Red. For the remainder of his career, he took an occasional film role but focused on stage work. After a 14-year gap, Trintignant came back to the screen for Michael Haneke's film Amour.[6] Haneke sent Trintignant the screenplay, which had been written specifically for him.[7] Trintignant said he chose film projects on the basis of the director and said of Haneke that "he has the most complete mastery of the cinematic discipline, from technical aspects like sound and photography to the way he handles actors". He worked with Haneke again in 2017 when he starred in Happy End.[7]

On 20 July 2018, Trintignant announced his retirement from cinema,[8] but, in March 2019, he accepted a role in Claude Lelouch's film The Best Years of a Life (Les plus belles annees d'une vie), a follow-up to A Man and a Woman and its sequel A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later.[9][10][11]

Personal life and death

Trintignant in 2007

Trintignant came from a wealthy family. He was the nephew of racecar driver Louis Trintignant, who was killed in 1933 while practising on the Péronne racetrack in Picardy.[12] Another uncle, Maurice Trintignant (1917–2005), was a Formula One driver who twice won the Monaco Grand Prix as well as the 24 hours of Le Mans. Jean-Louis himself was an enthusiastic amateur rally driver and competed in a number of high-level rallies in the 1970s and 1980s, including several rounds of the World Rally Championship;[13] he finished first in his class in the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally.[14] Raised in and around automobile racing, Trintignant was the natural choice of film director Claude Lelouch for the starring role of a racecar driver in the 1966 film A Man and a Woman. He suffered a leg injury from a motorbike accident in June 2007.[15]

His first wife was actress Stéphane Audran. His second wife, Nadine Marquand, was an actress, screenwriter, and director. They had three children: Vincent, Pauline (who died of crib death in 1969), and Marie Trintignant (21 January 1962 – 1 August 2003). At age 17 Marie performed in La terrazza alongside her father and later became a successful actress. She was killed at age 41 by her boyfriend, rock musician Bertrand Cantat, in a hotel room in Vilnius, Lithuania.[16]

In 2018, Trintignant announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and would not be seeking treatment.[17] In November 2021, it was reported that he was gradually losing his sight and was in declining health.[18] Trintignant died at his home on 17 June 2022, at the age of 91.[2][19]




Year Title Role Director Notes
1955 If All the Guys in the World Jean-Louis Christian-Jaque
1956 La Loi des rues Yves Tréguier Ralph Habib
And God Created Woman Michel Tardieu Roger Vadim
Women's Club Michel Ralph Habib
1959 Les liaisons dangereuses Danceny Roger Vadim
Violent Summer Carlo Caremoli Valerio Zurlini
1960 Austerlitz Ségur junior Abel Gance
1961 Pleins feux sur l'assassin Jean-Marie de Kerloguen Georges Franju
Journey Beneath the Desert Pierre Edgar G. Ulmer
1962 Horace 62 [fr] Joseph Fabiani André Versini
Le Combat dans l'île Clément Lesser Alain Cavalier
Il Sorpasso Roberto Mariani Dino Risi
1963 Château en Suède Éric Roger Vadim
1964 The Last Steps Joe Jacques Robin
1964 Mata Hari, Agent H21 François Lasalle Jean-Louis Richard
1965 The Sleeping Car Murders Éric Grandin Costa-Gavras
1966 A Man and a Woman Jean-Louis Duroc Claude Lelouch
Diamond Safari Raphaële Vincente Michel Drach
La Longue Marche Philippe Alexandre Astruc
Trans-Europ-Express Elias Alain Robbe-Grillet
1967 Un homme à abattre [fr] Raphaël Philippe Condroyer [fr]
Col cuore in gola Bernard Tinto Brass
My Love, My Love Vincent Falaise Nadine Trintignant
1968 Death Laid an Egg Marco Giulio Questi
Les Biches Paul Thomas Claude Chabrol
The Man Who Lies Jan Robin / Boris Varissa Alain Robbe-Grillet
The Great Silence Gordon ("Silence") Sergio Corbucci
The Libertine Carlo De Marchi Pasquale Festa Campanile
1969 Z Christos Sartzetakis Costa-Gavras
Metti, una sera a cena Michele Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
My Night at Maud's Jean-Louis Éric Rohmer
L'Américain [fr] Bruno Marcel Bozzuffi
So Sweet... So Perverse Jean Reynaud Umberto Lenzi
1970 The Conformist Marcello Clerici Bernardo Bertolucci
Le Voyou Simon Duroc Claude Lelouch
1971 Ramparts of Clay the entrepreneur Jean-Louis Bertucelli
L'Opium et le Bâton Chaudier Ahmed Rachedi
Without Apparent Motive Stéphane Carella Philippe Labro
1972 ...and Hope to Die Antoine Cardot René Clément
The Assassination François Darien Yves Boisset
The Outside Man Lucien Bellon Jacques Deray
1973 The Train Julien Maroyeur Pierre Granier-Deferre
A Full Day's Work directed
1974 Violins at the Ball Michel Michel Drach
Successive Slidings of Pleasure the police officer Alain Robbe-Grillet
Le Mouton enragé Nicolas Mallet Michel Deville
The Secret David Daguerre Robert Enrico
1975 L'Agression Paul Varlin Gérard Pirès
Flic Story Émile Buisson Jacques Deray
Il pleut sur Santiago Senator Helvio Soto
Playing with Fire le bel homme / l'homme de main Alain Robbe-Grillet
The Sunday Woman Massimo Campi Luigi Comencini
1976 The Desert of the Tartars Rovin Valerio Zurlini
L'Ordinateur des pompes funèbres [fr] Fred Malon Gérard Pirès
1977 The Passengers Alex Moineau Serge Leroy
Repérages Victor Michel Soutter
1978 L'Argent des autres Henri Rainier Christian de Chalonge
1980 The Lady Banker Horace Vannister Francis Girod
La terrazza Enrico D'Orsi Ettore Scola
Je vous aime Julien Claude Berri
1981 Un assassin qui passe [fr] Ravic Michel Vianey [fr]
Passion of Love the doctor Ettore Scola
Malevil Fulbert Christian de Chalonge
Eaux profondes Vic Allen Michel Deville
1982 Le Grand Pardon [fr] Commissaire Duché Alexandre Arcady
Boulevard des assassins [fr] Daniel Salmon Boramy Tioulong [fr]
Blow to the Heart Dario Gianni Amelio
The Night at Varennes Monsieur Sauce Ettore Scola
1983 Confidentially Yours Julien Vercel François Truffaut
La Crime [fr] Christian Lacassagne Philippe Labro
Under Fire Marcel Jazy Roger Spottiswoode
1984 Viva la vie! François Gaucher Claude Lelouch
1985 Next Summer Paul Nadine Trintignant
Partir, revenir Roland Rivière Claude Lelouch
Rendez-vous Scrutzler André Téchiné
L'Homme aux yeux d'argent [fr] Mayene Pierre Granier-Deferre
1986 A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later Jean-Louis Duroc Claude Lelouch
La Femme de ma vie Pierre Régis Wargnier
1987 La vallée fantôme Paul Alain Tanner
1989 Bunker Palace Hôtel Holm Enki Bilal
1991 Merci la vie SS officier Bertrand Blier
1994 Three Colours: Red Joseph Kern Krzysztof Kieślowski
1995 The City of Lost Children L'oncle Irvin (voice) Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
Fiesta [fr] Colonel Masagual Pierre Boutron
1996 A Self Made Hero Albert Dehousse (the matured one) Jacques Audiard
1998 Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train Lucien Emmerich / Jean-Baptiste Emmerich Patrice Chéreau
2003 Janis et John [fr] Monsieur Cannon Samuel Benchetrit
2012 Amour Georges Michael Haneke
2017 Happy End Georges Laurent Michael Haneke
2019 The Best Years of a Life Jean-Louis Duroc Claude Lelouch Final film released during Trintignant's lifetime
2024 The Most Precious of Cargoes Narrator (voice) Michel Hazanavicius Posthumous release; final film role [23]

Awards and honours

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1968 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Best Actor The Man Who Lies Won [24]
1969 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Z Won [25]
1986 César Award Best Supporting Actor La Femme de ma vie Nominated [citation needed]
1994 Best Actor Three Colors: Red Nominated [citation needed]
1995 Best Actor Fiesta [fr] Nominated [citation needed]
1998 Best Supporting Actor Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train Nominated [citation needed]
2012 Best Actor Amour Won [26]
European Film Award Best Actor Won [27]
Lumières Award Best Actor Won [28]
Globes de Cristal Award Best Actor Nominated [29]
International Cinephile Society Award Best Actor Nominated [30]
London Film Critics Circle Award Best Actor of the Year Nominated [31]


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  3. ^ "'Amour,' theater, family: Jean-Louis Trintignant's last breaths". LaMorde.
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  8. ^ Jean-Louis Trintignant says good-bye to the cinema and begins to say goodbye to life
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  12. ^ Snellman, Leif (21 May 1933). "1933 GRAND PRIX SEASON – 1933 Avusrennen (Avus grand prix), 1933 Picardie Grand Prix (Grand Prix de Picardie), 1933 Eifelrennen (Eifel Grand Prix), 1933 Targa Florio". Elisa – Suomalaiset tietoliikenne- ja viihtymisen palvelut. Archived from the original on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
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  21. ^ "Jean-Louis Trintignant". Retrieved 18 June 2022.
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  24. ^ "Berlinale 1968: Prize Winners". Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  25. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Z". Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  26. ^ Overstraeten, Benoit Van (18 June 2022). "French cinema legend Jean-Louis Trintignant dies at age 91". U.S. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  27. ^ "European Film Awards: Michael Haneke Sets Best Director Record". Alt Film Guide. 13 June 2022. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  28. ^ "Love dominates the Lumières Awards 2013". Cineuropa – the best of european cinema. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  29. ^ "Toutes les nominations aux Globes de cristal 2013". (in French). 14 January 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  30. ^ "2013 ICS Award Winners". International Cinephile Society. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
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