Gérard Depardieu biography
Sgt. Stubby: An Unlikely Hero
Date of Birth: December 27, 1948
In the small town of Châteauroux in Indre, France, Gérard Depardieu was born the third of six children to a poor sheet metal worker. In his autobiography, released in 2014, he revealed that his mother tried to abort him using knitting needles. Gérard left school at the age of 12 and began a life of petty crime. At 16, he was arrested for stealing a car and spent three weeks in prison. No longer living at home, he became a prostitute to earn money after realizing homosexuals were attracted to him. By the time he was 20, instead of sleeping with clients, he would beat them up and take their money. He also went into cemetaries to dig up graves in order to remove jewelry from corposes.
Gérard was first exposed to the art of acting after tagging along with a friend who was training at the Theatre Nationale Populaire in Paris.
Gérard started his acting career at the small traveling theater "Cafe de la Gare" along with Patrick Dewaere. After minor roles in cinema, he finally got the chance to shine in Bertrand Blier's Les Valseuses (1974). That film established a new type of hero in the French cinema and the actor's popularity grew enormously.
He would go on to star in five more of Blier's films before working with French directors Alain Resnais, Maurice Pialat and Claude Berri.
Later he diversified his screen image and became the leading French actor of the '80s and '90s. He was twice awarded a César as Best Actor, for Le Dernier métro (1980) and Cyrano De Bergerac (1990), as well as receiving an Oscar nomination and BAFTA award for 'Cyrano' plus numerous awards at international film festivals.
Gérard, who admits to drinking up to 14 bottles of wine daily, was convicted of drunk driving in France that same year. He was sentenced to two months in jail (suspended) and lost his license for six months. He had motor troubles again nine years later when he crashed his motorcycle and was hospitalized while filming Astérix et Obélix contre César (1999) in Paris.
In 1990, Gérard crossed the pond and made his American film debut, joining Andie McDowell in Green Card, a box office hit that earned him an American fan base and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy.
The following year, he starred as Christopher Columbus in Ridley Scott's epic, 1492: Conquest of Paradise. For a time, he was a regular player in Hollywood, starring in such films as Bogus with Whoopie Goldberg, The Secret Agent with Bob Hoskins, The Man in the Iron Mask with Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Leonardo DiCaprio, and 102 Dalmatians with Glenn Close. In 2012 he was seen in the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling novel Life of Pi (2012). More recently, he provided the voice of Gaston Baptiste in the animated feature, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (2018) and played a cameo alongside Juliette Binoche in the French romantic comedy, Let the Sunshine In (2018).
With more than 115 films on his resumé and 34 films that sold more than a million tickets each to his credit, Gérard Depardieu was crowned France's all-time box office champ by Le Film Française.
In 1996 he was distinguished with the highest French title of "Chevalier du Légion d'Honneur." He married Elisabeth Depardieu, who appeared with him in Jean de Florette (1986), and they have a daughter, Julie Depardieu, and a son, Guillaume Depardieu, both of whom are actors.
Married since 1970, Gérard and his wife are now divorced. Gérard reportedly has another daughter, Roxanne, born out of wedlock in 1992 to a model. In January 2001, he became a grandfather when his son's wife, Elise, gave birth to a daughter. In his private time, Gérard is an accomplished winemaker.
In addition to a prolific film career, Gérard has recorded several albums and has been actively involved in the theater since 1968. In 1984, he starred opposite his wife in a stage production of Molière's Tartuffe, which he also directed and co-wrote as a film that same year.
In 2012, he was again arrested for drunk driving when he had a minor accident and was found to have a blood alcohol level of 1.8 grams per litre, well over the limit of O.5 in France. In August of the same year, he was arrested and thrown off an Air France flight when he urinated in the aisle.
Most recently, in August 2018, he was accused by a 22-year-old actress of rape. He has denied the allegations.