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Tchéky Karyo (French: [tʃeki kɑʁjo]; born 4 October 1953) is a Turkish-born French actor and musician who is known for playing leading French police investigator Julien Baptiste in the British drama The Missing (2014) and its spin-off series Baptiste (2019). Beginning his career as an actor on stage in classical and contemporary works, he began to work as a character actor in films in the 1980s. He has acted in numerous films by Hollywood and French directors, including Luc Besson.

Tchéky Karyo
Tchéky Karyo Cabourg 2013 2.jpg
Karyo in 2013
Born (1953-10-04) 4 October 1953 (age 66)
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1982 – present
Spouse(s)Isabelle Pasco (m.1995, divorced)
Partner(s)Valérie Kéruzoré

Early lifeEdit

He was named Baruh Djaki Karyo[1] at birth in 1953 in Istanbul, Turkey; his mother was Greek Jewish and his father was Turkish Jewish family with ancestral roots in Spain (Sephardic Jewish).[2] When he was young, his family moved to Paris, France, where he grew up. The spelling of his name, Djaki, was changed to Tchéky in a form of French transliteration. As a young man, Karyo studied drama at the Cyrano Theatre and later became a member of the Daniel Sorano Company, playing many classical roles.


Karyo at the 17th César Awards, 1992

Karyo joined the National Theatre of Strasbourg, where he starred in both contemporary and classical plays. He found success in French films beginning in the 1980s, first as a character actor. He later appeared in leading roles in several notable films, such as The Bear, in which he played one of the hunters, and director Luc Besson's Nikita, in which he played the heroine's spy mentor.

He has participated in many Hollywood movies, often portraying a French character, in the same fashion as Jean Reno. His movie credits include 1994's Nostradamus in which he plays the famous French prophet, and 1995's Bad Boys opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in which he plays a character named Fouchet, a criminal who steals heroin from the Miami-Dade Police Department's headquarters and tries to kill a woman named Julie Mott, played by Téa Leoni, who witnessed a murder. He also appeared alongside Jet Li in Kiss of the Dragon (2001) as a corrupt and violent Paris police detective who frames Li's character for murder, and later gets killed by him in retribution. He has acted in prominent roles in major films set during wartime. Such performances include his acting as a vengeful French officer alongside Mel Gibson in The Patriot (2000), set during the American Revolutionary War, and his role as Jean de Dunois in The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. In the DVD edition of The Patriot, Karyo overdubbed his own lines on the French-language track. He appeared in Martin Sheen's film The Way (2010) as Captain Henri.

In 2014 and 2016 Karyo appeared as Julien Baptiste in the acclaimed BBC One/Starz drama series The Missing. He has received critical praise for his performance.[3]

In April 2018, it was confirmed by BBC that Tchéky Karyo would reprise his role as Julien Baptiste in a spin-off series titled Baptiste, to be written by Jack and Harry Williams.[4] The new six-episode series began on 17 February 2019.[5]

Karyo is also a musician and songwriter. In 2006 he released the album Ce lien qui nous unit (English: "The link that binds us"),[6] and released Credo in 2013 on his 60th birthday.[7]


He was nominated for a César Award for Most Promising Actor for his role in La Balance. In 1986, he was awarded the Jean Gabin Prize in recognition of his acting performances.

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Director
1982 The Return of Martin Guerre Augustin Daniel Vigne [fr]
La Balance Petrovic Bob Swaim
1983 Le Marginal Francis Pierron Jacques Deray
1984 Full Moon in Paris Remi Éric Rohmer
1985 L'amour braque Micky Andrzej Zulawski
1986 Bleu comme l'enfer [fr] Frank Yves Boisset
1988 The Bear Tom Jean-Jacques Annaud
1989 Australia Julien Pierson Jean-Jacques Andrien
1990 Nikita Bob Luc Besson
Vincent and Me Vincent van Gogh Michael Rubbo
1991 A Grande Arte (American title: Exposure Hermes Walter Salles
Isabelle Eberhardt Slimene Ian Pringle
Husband and Lovers Paolo Mauro Bolognini
1992 1492: Conquest of Paradise Martín Alonso Pinzón Ridley Scott
L'Atlantide Lieutenant Morhange Bob Swaim
Sketch Artist Paul Korbel Phedon Papamichael
1993 And the Band Played On Willy Rozenbaum Roger Spottiswoode
1994 La Cité de la peur Monsieur Jacques, the first projectionist Alain Berbérian
Nostradamus Nostradamus Roger Christian
1995 Colpo di luna Lorenzo Alberto Simone
Crying Freeman Detective Netah Christophe Gans
Bad Boys Fouchet Michael Bay
GoldenEye Russian Minister of Defence Dmitri Mishkin Martin Campbell
Foreign Land Kraft Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas
Operation Dumbo Drop Goddard Simon Wincer
1996 To Have & to Hold Jack John Hillcoat
1997 Dobermann Inspecteur Sauveur Cristini Jan Kounen
Habitat Hank Symes René Daalder
Addicted to Love Anton Griffin Dunne
1998 From the Earth to the Moon (miniseries) Georges Méliès (various)
Que la lumière soit Harper Arthur Joffé
1999 My Life So Far Gabriel Chenoux Hugh Hudson
Jeanne d'Arc Jean de Dunois Luc Besson
Wing Commander Commodore James "Paladin" Taggart Chris Roberts
2000 Arabian Nights Black Coda Steve Barron
Le Roi danse Molière Gérard Corbiau
Saving Grace Jacques Chevalier Nigel Cole
The Patriot Major Jean Villeneuve Roland Emmerich
2001 Kiss of the Dragon Inspecteur Jean-Pierre Richard Chris Nahon
2002 The Good Thief Roger Neil Jordan
2003 The Core Serge Jon Amiel
2004 A Very Long Engagement Captain Etienne Favourier Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Taking Lives Hugo Leclair D. J. Caruso
Blueberry the uncle Jan Kounen
2005 Les Rois maudits (miniseries) Philip IV of France Josée Dayan
2006 The Gravedancers Vincent Cochet Mike Mendez
2007 Jacquou le Croquant the Chevalier Laurent Boutonnat
Boxes Jean Jane Birkin
La Masseria Delle Allodole Aram Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
2009 A Man and His Dog the guitar player in the park Francis Huster
Kaamelott (TV series) Manius Macrinus Firmus (episode 7) Alexandre Astier
2010 The Way Captain Henri Emilio Estevez
2011 A Gang Story Serge Suttel Olivier Marchal
Forces spéciales Guezennec Stéphane Rybojad
2012 No Limit (TV Series) Koskas (various)
Pieces of Me Edern
2013 Jappeloup Marcel Rozier Christian Duguay
Belle and Sebastian César Nicolas Vanier
2014 The Missing, Series 1 (TV Series) Julien Baptiste Tom Shankland
2015 Through the Air Armand Cavelle Fred Grivois
Belle et Sébastien, l'aventure continue César Christian Duguay
2016 The Missing, Series 2 (TV Series) Julien Baptiste Ben Chanan
2019 Baptiste (TV series) Julien Baptiste Börkur SigÞórrson
2019 The Name of the Rose Pope John XXII Giacomo Battiato

Music videosEdit


  1. ^ "Tcheky Karyo Biography".
  2. ^ "Tcheky Karyo: I was brought up with respect for my Jewish roots".
  3. ^ Hogan, Michael (30 November 2016). "What on earth happened to Alice Webster? 11 big questions The Missing finale needs to answer". The Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ James, Sarah (1 April 2018). "The Missing to get new spin-off Baptiste starring Tcheky Karyo". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  5. ^ "When does Baptiste start on BBC1? What's The Missing spin-off about and who's in the cast?". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Ce Lien Qui Nous Unit - Tcheky Karyo - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  7. ^ ""Crédo", le deuxième album de Tchéky Karyo chanteur". Culturebox (in French). Retrieved 17 February 2019.

External linksEdit