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| | Isabelle Adjani
Isabelle Yasmine Adjani, (born 27 June 1955) is a four-time César Award-winning and two-time Academy Award-nominated French film actress and singer. She is of Algerian-German parentage, and performs in French, English, and German.
Adjani was born in Bavaria, Germany to an Algerian father from Kabylie, Mohammed Cherif Adjani, and a German mother, Augusta Gusti. She grew up in the immigrants quarter Gennevilliers (suburbs of Paris), speaking German fluently as a first language. After winning a school recitation contest, she began acting in amateur theater by the age of twelve. At the age of 14, she starred in her first motion picture Le Petit bougnat (1970)
She first gained fame as a classical actress for her interpretation of Agnès, the main female role in Molière's L'École des femmes, but soon left the Comédie française she had joined in 1972 to pursue a movie 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. Critics enthused over her performance, with Pauline Kael calling her acting talents "Prodigious". All this attention resulted in a nomination for the Best Actress Oscar and offers for rôles in Hollywood films, such as Walter Hill's 1978 crime thriller The Driver. She then played Lucy in Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of Nosferatu (1979) .
In 1981, Adjani received the Cannes Film Festival's best actress award for the Merchant Ivory film Quartet based on the novel by Jean Rhys, and for the horror film Possession. The following year, she received her first César Award for Possession, in which she portrays a frustrated woman going mad. In 1983, she won the César, for her depiction of a vengeful woman in the blockbuster One Deadly Summer.
In 1989, she co-produced and starred in a biopic of the tragic 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 publicity, she was chosen by People magazine as one of the '50 Most Beautiful People' in the world. Her fourth César win was for the 1994 film Queen Margot, an ensemble epic directed by Patrice Chéreau.
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