César Award for Best Actress  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

List of winners and nominees of the César Award for Best Actress (French: César de la meilleure actrice).




Superlative Best Actress Best Supporting Actress Overall
(including Most Promising Actress)
Actress with most awards Isabelle Adjani 5 Dominique Blanc 3 Isabelle Adjani 5
Actress with most nominations Isabelle Huppert 12 Dominique Blanc
Noémie Lvovsky
5 Isabelle Huppert 14
Actress with most nominations
without ever winning
Catherine Frot 6 Noémie Lvovsky 5 Catherine Frot
Noémie Lvovsky
Film with most nominations Too Beautiful for You
The Ceremony
8 Women
2 The Crisis 3 Venus Beauty Institute
8 Women
Oldest winner Emmanuelle Riva 85 Suzanne Flon 72 Emmanuelle Riva 85
Oldest nominee Emmanuelle Riva 85 Denise Grey 86 Denise Grey 86
Youngest winner Sandrine Bonnaire 18 Emmanuelle Béart 23 Charlotte Gainsbourg 14
Youngest nominee Charlotte Gainsbourg 17 Christine Pascal 22 Charlotte Gainsbourg 14

As of 2013, 69 actresses have been nominated in the category, with a total of 29 different winners. The average age at first nomination is 36 and the average age of winners at first win is 38.

With five wins (1982, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2010), Isabelle Adjani has more César Award for Best Actress than any other woman. Five actresses have won two Best Actress César: Romy Schneider (1976, 1979), Sabine Azéma (1985, 1987), Catherine Deneuve (1981, 1993), Nathalie Baye (1983, 2006) and Yolande Moreau (2005, 2009).

Adjani also holds the record of most César Award in an acting category and of most César in a single artistic category. She is followed with 4 César by Dominique Blanc (1 Best Actress César and 3 Best Supporting Actress César) and Nathalie Baye (2 Best Actress César and 2 Best Supporting Actress César).

Isabelle Huppert holds the record of most nominations with 12, followed by Catherine Deneuve and Miou-Miou with 10 nominations each. Huppert has been nominated a total of 14 times, which makes her the overall most-nominated female performer.

Cécile de France is the only actress to have been nominated for two different roles the same year, in 2007 for Avenue Montaigne and for When I Was a Singer. The Académie has since modified the nomination rules to ensure that no one could receive more than one individual nomination by category.

Six women have won both the César Award for Best Actress and the César Award for Best Supporting Actress:

  • Nathalie Baye (Best Supporting Actress in 1981 and 1982, Best Actress in 1983 and 2006)
  • Annie Girardot (Best Actress in 1977, Best Supporting Actress in 1996 and 2002),
  • Dominique Blanc (Best Supporting Actress in 1991, 1993 and 1999, Best Actress in 2001),
  • Karin Viard (Best Actress in 2000, Best Supporting Actress in 2003),
  • Marion Cotillard (Best Supporting Actress in 2005, Best Actress in 2008)
  • Emmanuelle Devos (Best Actress in 2002, Best Supporting Actress in 2010).

Nathalie Baye is the only actress with multiple wins in both categories. She is also the only performer to have won an acting César in three consecutive years, in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Three films have received both accolades: One Deadly Summer in 1984 (Best Actress to Isabelle Adjani, Best Supporting Actress to Suzanne Flon), Indochine in 1993 (Best Actress to Catherine Deneuve, Best Supporting Actress to Dominique Blanc) and Queen Margot in 1995 (Best Actress to Isabelle Adjani, Best Supporting Actress to Virna Lisi).

Four women have won the César Award for Best Actress after previously winning the César Award for Most Promising Actress:

Only one film has received both accolades: The Dreamlife of Angels in 1999 (Best Actress to Elodie Bouchez, Most Promising Actress to Natacha Régnier).

Nine women have received nominations in the three competitive acting categories: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Actress. They are Emmanuelle Béart, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dominique Blanc, Anne Brochet, Karin Viard, Sandrine Kiberlain, Emmanuelle Devos, Marion Cotillard and Sylvie Testud. So far, no actress has achieved to win the three awards.

To date, the longest living winner is Emmanuelle Riva, aged 86, and the most short-lived is Romy Schneider, who died at 43. The earliest winner who is still alive is Miou-Miou (Memoirs of a French Whore, 1980).

Posthumous nominations

There have been only two posthumous nominations for any acting César and both occurred in the Best Actress category. Romy Schneider was nominated in 1983 for The Passerby, seven months after her death possibly by suicide. Pascale Ogier died of a drug overdose at 25, three months before receiving a nomination for Full Moon in Paris in 1985.

Romy Schneider is the only actress to have been presented a posthumous Honorary César, in 2008. Actor Alain Delon presented the César, as the date also corresponded to the forty years of the iconic film La Piscine in which they starred together. During the standing ovation, he turned towards a giant portrait of the actress and declared in German that she was the love of his life.

International presence

As the César Awards are centered on the French Cinema, the majority of recipients are French and performed in French language. The only non-French winner of the Best Actress César is Belgian actress Yolande Moreau (2005, 2009). Isabelle Adjani's mother is German and Marina Hands's father is British, but they both only hold French citizenship. Romy Schneider was born German and Bérénice Bejo Argentine, but both had become French naturalized citizens by the time of their wins.

International actresses who have received nomination are:

The Best Actress César has been awarded twice for a foreign-language performance: to Isabelle Adjani for her English-language performance in Possession (1982) and to Sylvie Testud for her Japanese-language performance in Fear and Trembing (2004). In addition, Bérénice Bejo is the only performer in the history of the César to receive an award for a silent role, in The Artist (2012).

Other awards

Four actresses have received nominations for both the César Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Actress:

Cotillard is the only woman to have won a Best Actress César and Oscar for the same performance. The other actress to have won both awards is Simone Signoret but she did it with two different films.

Bérénice Bejo is the only actress to have been nominated for the César Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, in 2008 for The Artist; she won the César but lost the Oscar. Juliette Binoche is the only actress to have won both awards, but for two different performances.

Two actresses have won both the Best Actress César and the Best Actress Award of the Cannes Film Festival for the same performance: Isabelle Adjani for Possession and Elodie Bouchez for The Dreamlife of Angels. In addition, Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche have won both awards as well, but not for the same role.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "César Award for Best Actress" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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