Jean Reno life and biography

Jean Reno picture, image, poster

Jean Reno biography

Date of birth : 1948-07-30
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Casablanca, Morocco
Nationality : French
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-07-30
Credited as : Actor, collaborations with director Luc Besson, roles in Ronin and The Da Vinci Code

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Jean Reno (pronounced Ruh-No) was born Juan Moreno July 30, 1948 in Casablanca, Morocco to Spanish parents who moved to North Africa to escape the fascism of Franco. He moved to France after fulfilling his spell of military service in Germany, and settled in Paris at the age of 17. Here he began studying drama at a French government sponsored drama school.

After making a name for himself in his native France, particularly with his collaborations with action director Luc Besson, actor Jean Reno crossed the Atlantic to become a highly-sought character performer in big budget Hollywood fare. Though he broke the ice with American audiences with the cult classic “La Femme Nikita” (1991), Reno made his greatest impression on U.S. shores playing a reluctant hit man training a young girl (Natalie Portman) in the strangely heartwarming thriller “The Professional” (1994). Ever since, Reno made his mark playing coolly ambiguous and frighteningly cunning characters who more often than not reveal themselves to be all-too-human. Reno was perhaps most memorable in action thrillers like “Ronin” (1998) and “The Da Vinci Code” (2006), but least appreciated in silly blockbusters like “Godzilla” (1998) and “The Pink Panther” (2006). Despite not possessing a marquee name, Reno proved himself to be an invaluable character performer capable of switching from foreign films to Hollywood features with ease.

When he was 17, Reno and family relocated to France, where he began acting after high school, attending a French-government sponsored drama school. He made his professional stage debut in a Parisian production of "Ecce Homo" (1974), then spent the next couple of years honing his craft onstage. Reno made his screen debut playing a small role in "L'Hypothese du tableau vole" (1978), and the following year, had another small role in Costa-Gavras' "Clair de femme" (1979). After appearing in several minor parts, Reno landed his first substantial feature role in his first collaboration with Luc Besson in "Le Dernier combat" (1983), the director’s dialogue-less sci-fi film about a bleak and desolate world where people are physically unable to speak. Following a second outing with Besson on "Subway" (1985), Reno teamed up with the director a third time in what proved to be his breakout film, "The Big Blue" (1988), for which he earned critical praise for his portrayal of a champion diver who fights off competition from an old friend and rival (Jean-Marc Barr).

With his career on the rise in France, it was only a matter of time until Reno was introduced to American audiences. Reno collaborated with Besson once again, playing the partner of a drug addict-turned-government assassin (Anne Parillaud) in the action thriller classic, "La Femme Nikita" (1991). Reno’s character helped establish his later onscreen persona – cool, calculating and amoral, while retaining the impression that he was human underneath it all. Released in France in 1990, the film earned a cult following after its release in the United States the next year, introducing Reno to a wider audience. Over the years, “Le Femme Nikita” became the model for which many crime thrillers were based, including an American remake starring Bridget Fonda and a long-running television series on USA Network. Reno next played a sympathetic priest who moonlights as a wrestler in order to raise money for his church's projects in "L'Homme au masque d'or" (1990). He then had a much-applauded turn as Godefroy de Montmirail, a valiant nobleman from the Musketeer-days transported to the 20th century in "Les Visiteurs/The Visitors" (1996). The film set box office records in France for its 1993 release and spawned a sequel a few years later, as well as a typically shoddy American remake in 2001.

Working with Besson once again, Reno made his English-language debut with "The Professional” (1994), a stylish, violent and oddly endearing thriller about a professional hit man who takes on a new apprentice in the form of a 12-year-old girl (Natalie Portman). With the attention he received for "The Professional,” the actor was firmly established as a notable presence on American shores. He followed up by playing a con-man thorn-in-the-side to Kevin Kline in Lawrence Kasdan's "French Kiss" (1995) then portrayed Krieger, one of the operatives chosen by Tom Cruise for a top secret operation in "Mission: Impossible" (1996). Reno suddenly became a known quantity with both Hollywood insiders and appreciative audiences, who took to the actor when he appeared in such features such as "Godzilla" (1998) and "Ronin" (1998) – the latter of which allowed him to use his ambiguous onscreen persona to great effect in John Frankenheimer’s excellent spy thriller. After reprising his role in “The Visitors” for the remake “Just Visiting” (2001), he played the scheming creator of a violent futuristic sport in the disastrous "Rollerball" (2002).

He had a brief, but potent turn in director Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda" (2004), playing a sympathetic Belgian hotel executive doing all he can to save the lives of his brave Rwandan manager (Don Cheadle) and the refugees he is sheltering during the 1994 genocide. After appearing in foreign-made features like “La Tigre e La Neve” (2005) and “L’empire des Loups” (2005), Reno played Ponton, a detective assigned to keep an eye on the ever-bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau in “The Pink Panther” (2006), the much-derided – but sadly profitable – remake of Peter Seller’s classic series of comic films. Reno was then set to be seen in one of the most controversial and anticipated movies to have come along in decades, “The Da Vinci Code” (2006), directed by Ron Howard from Dan Brown’s mega-blockbuster about a secret religious society guarding a 2000 year-old secret. After voicing Le Fog in the animated adventure “Flushed Away” (2006) and playing the war-weary commander of a World War I fighter squadron in “Flyboys” (2006), Reno starred in the gangster thriller “Cash” (2008), then reprised Ponton for the unsuccessful sequel “The Pink Panther 2” (2009).
FILMOGRAPHY

Inside Ring - 2010
Armored - 2009
Couples Retreat - 2009
The Pink Panther 2 -2009
The Corsican File -2007
Le Jaguar -2007
The Tiger and the Snow -2006
Flushed Away -2006
Flyboys -2006
The Da Vinci Code -2006
The Pink Panther -2006
The Empire of the Wolves -2005
The Crimson Rivers II: The Angels of the Apocalypse -2005
Hotel Rwanda -2004
Tais-toi! -2003
Jet Lag -2003
Wasabi -2002
Rollerball -2002
Le Dernier Combat -2001
The Crimson Rivers -2001
Just Visiting -2001
Notre Histoire -1999
Ronin -1998
Godzilla -1998
For Roseanna -1997
The Visitors -1996
Mission: Impossible -1996
Beyond the Clouds -1995
French Kiss -1995
The Professional -1994
La Femme Nikita -1990
L'Hypothese Du Tableau Volé -1987
Subway - 1985
Clair De Femme - 1979
Margaret
Les Couloirs Du Temps - Les Visiteurs II
Les Truffes
Loulou Graffiti
L'Operation Corned-Beef
L'Homme Au Masque d'or
Un Amour de Sorcière
Strictement Personnel
Signes Exterieurs de Richesse
Zone Rouge
La Passante Du Sans-Souci

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