A romantic leading man who has had difficulty finding roles that really suit his talents, Francis Huster is one of French cinema's most recognizable faces. Possessing dark good looks and natural charisma, Huster is adept at drama and comedy alike, and he has essayed roles ranging from classic heroes to amiable sidekicks.
Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on December 8, 1947, Huster developed a passion for film with the aid of his grandmother, who began taking him to the cinema when he was a young boy. An excellent student, he decided at the age of 15 that he wanted to become a comedian, and he subsequently enrolled at a municipal conservatory for training. At the age of 20, Huster won a place at the prestigious national conservatory in Paris, where he studied with René Simon and Antoine Vitez. After leaving the conservatory in 1971, he joined the renowned Comédie Française, where he stayed for the next decade. While performing the works of such masters as Shakespeare, Molière, and Musset, Huster also began acting on the screen, making his debut as the titular priest in the religious drama La Faute de L'Abbé Mouret (1970).
Huster could subsequently be seen in starring roles in the works of a variety of directors ranging from Jeanne Moreau (Lumière, 1976; L'Adolescente, 1978) to Claude Lelouch (Un Autre Homme Une Autre Chance, 1977; Les Uns et les autres, 1981; and Edith et Marcel, 1983). In 1998, the actor was used to particularly winning effect in Francis Veber's Le Dîner de Cons (The Dinner Game), a witty comedy of errors that cast Huster as the friend and former rival of an arrogant publisher (Thierry Lhermitte) undone by the very man he intends to humiliate at his weekly "dinner of idiots." In 1986, Huster tried his hand at directing with On a volé Charlie Spencer, a comedy about an unassuming bank clerk who joins up with the group of thieves who have robbed his bank.