Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu (born 27 December 1948 in Châteauroux) is one of the most prominent French actors since his Star-Making Role in Les Valseuses in 1974. As of 2018, he has around 230 acting credits since his debut in 1967.
Basically, he's the go-to guy for leading roles in Period Pieces (either Historical Domain Characters or historical novel protagonists), as well as Big Fun, Big Eater and Boisterous Bruiser roles in French cinema — most often requiring to be a Large Ham, which he seems born to play. While most of his box office successes were comedies, he garnered significant critical acclaim for his dramatic roles in pictures such as The Last Metro, Cyrano de Bergerac or Mammuth.
His most famous roles in TV productions include Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo (1998), Jean Valjean in Les Misérables (2000), Joseph Fouché in Napoléon (2002) and the Mad Monk himself in Rasputin (2011). Speaking of the latter, he's so popular in Russia that he officially became a Russian citizen in 2013, and was even asked to become Minister of Culture of an oblast in that country at one point.
Two out of his four children became actors, namely Julie (born in 1973), and Guillaume (1971-2008). Guillaume died of pneumonia at age 37 while filming in Romania.
- Les Valseuses (1974) as Jean-Claude
- Vincent, François, Paul... et les autres (1974) as Jean
- 1900 (1976) as Olmo
- Buffet froid (1979) as Alphonse Tram
- The Last Metro (1980) as Bernard Granger
- Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980) as René
- Inspector Blunder (1980) as Roger Morzini
- La Chèvre note (1981) as Campana ("Perrin!")
- The Woman Next Door (1981)
- The Return of Martin Guerre (1982)
- Les Compères (1983) as Lucas ("Pignon!")
- Danton (1983) as Georges Jacques Danton
- Police (1985) as Mangin
- Les Fugitifs (1986) as Lucas
- Manon des Sources (1986) as Jean de Florette
- Green Card (1990) as Georges Fauré
- Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) as Cyrano
- Mon père, ce héros (1991) as André Arnel
- My Father the Hero (1994) as André
- 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) as Christopher Columbus
- Germinal (1993) as Toussaint Maheu
- Colonel Chabert (1994) as Hyacinthe Chabert
- Guardian Angels (1995) as Antoine Carco / his Guardian Angel
- Bogus (1996) as Bogus
- The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) as Porthos
- The Asterix live-action film series as Obélix
- 102 Dalmatians (2000) as Jean-Pierre Le Pelt
- Vidocq (2001) as Eugène-François Vidocq
- The Closet (2001) as Félix Santini
- Tais-toi! (Ruby & Quentin, 2003) as Quentin
- RRRrrrr!!! (2004) as the Chief of the Dirty Hair tribe
- 36 Quai des Orfèvres (Department 36, 2004) as Denis Klein
- Last Holiday (2006) as Chef Didier
- La Vie en Rose (2007) as Louis Leplée (Édith Piaf's first manager)
- Mesrine: Killer Instinct (2008) as Guido
- Potiche (2010)
- Life of Pi (2012) as the Cook
- Welcome to New York (2014) as Mr. Devereux (a thinly disguised Expy of Dominique Strauss-Kahn)
- Stalin's Couch (2017) as Josef Stalin
Live Action Television
- The Count of Monte Cristo (1998) as Edmond Dantès/The Count of Monte Cristo
- Les Misérables (2000) as Jean Valjean
- Napoléon (2002) as Joseph Fouché
- Marseille (Netflix series, 2016—) as Mayor Robert Taro
Tropes in his films:
- Big Eater: Some of his roles since the late 1990s, such as Obelix.
- Big Fun: While he's been acting in comedies since the late 1970s, he's been heavyset since the late 1990s only.
- Boisterous Bruiser: When playing swashbuckling heroes like Cyrano or Porthos. And Obelix, of course.
- Large Ham: He perfectly knows when to ham it up and when not to. When he does, it's much to the delight of French audiences.
- Mini Series: He was THE leading actor of French miniseries at the turn of the millennium, starting with The Count of Monte Cristo in 1998 and ending circa 2005 with a TV adaptation of The Accursed Kings.
- Period Pieces: Half of his filmography, if not more, is made of period dramas.
- Those Two Actors: