French actor and comedian Jean Dujardin has brought such undeniable leading-man charm to his career on-screen that it may come as a surprise that he didn't decide to become an actor early on. Raised in a commune outside of Paris, Dujardin worked for his family's construction company after high school. He became interested in show business later, while he was serving his mandatory military service. Dujardin eventually developed a one-man show, which he performed in pubs and cabarets, before transitioning to the screen in 1999 when he began appearing on the French TV series Un gars, une fille. Dujardin was a hit with audiences, and prominent movie roles soon followed, notably with 2005's Brice de Nice and 2006's OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. He remained one of the most famous actors of the French screen in the years that followed, but American audiences eventually came to know the performer as well when he starred in 2011's critical smash The Artist. A throwback to the early days of film, the movie transcended the language barrier quite easily, as it was silent. The film racked up numerous awards, as did Dujardin for his performance -- including an Academy Award for Best Actor. He next co-directed, co-produced, co-wrote and starred in 2012's Les Infidèles (The Players), and took on a supporting role in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Worked as a locksmith after high school.
- Discovered his talent for comedy during his military service.
- Member of the comedy group Nous C Nous, which won the French talent show Graines de star in 1996.
- Met his second wife, Alexandra Lamy, when they co-starred as a couple on the series Un gars, une fille.
- Broke through to the U.S. market playing silent film star George Valentin in 2011's The Artist.