Josiane Balasko

Josiane Balasko

Josiane Balasko in February 2014.
Born Josiane Balašković
(1950-04-15) 15 April 1950
Paris, France
Occupation Actress, comedian, director, writer
Years active 1973–present
Spouse(s) George Aguilar (2003–present)
Partner(s) Bruno Moynot (1974-1981)
Philippe Berry (1982-1999)
Children 2

Josiane Balasko (born Josiane Balašković; 15 April 1950) is a French actress, writer and director. She has been nominated seven times for César Awards, and won twice.


One of Balasko's most recognized roles among English speakers is as a lesbian in 1995's Gazon maudit (French Twist). She won the 1996 César Award (shared with Telsche Boorman) for best screenplay, and was also nominated as best director. The movie itself was nominated for best film. Balasko's other César nominations for best actress were for Too Beautiful for You (1989), Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes (1993), and Cette femme-là (2003). She's one of the favorite actress of the French.[1]

1973-1980 : The beginning

Josiane began her career in 1973. She was 23 years old when she first appeared on screen, in the short "L'Agression", with Patrick Bouchitey. She was also in the movie "L'an 01", directed by Jacques Doillon, with François Cavanna, Christian Clavier, Coluche, Gérard Depardieu, Lee Falk, Marcel Gotlib, Jacques Higelin, Gérard Jugnot, Nelly Kaplan, Patrice Leconte, Stan Lee, Thierry Lhermitte and Miou-Miou. After an absence of three years she returned to the screen in 1976 in the film The Tenant directed by Roman Polanski, with a screenplay was written by him and Gérard Brach. The movie was based on the novel written by Roland Topor and it starred Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, Lila Kedrova, Claude Piéplu, Rufus, Jacques Monod, Michel Blanc and Shelley Winters.

Her career really exploded in 1977, with her appearing in seven films over the course of the year. She first appeared in "Solveig et le Violon turc", with Eugène Ionesco and Dominique Lavanant. Then, she played Simone in "Une fille unique" alongside her boyfriend at time, Bruno Moynot. She made an appearance in Animal, directed by Claude Zidi, on a screenplay written by him, Michel Audiard and Dominique Fabre. The movie starred Jean-Paul Belmondo, Raquel Welch, Jane Birkin, Johnny Hallyday, Yves Mourousi, Claude Chabrol, Julien Guiomar, Aldo Maccione and Richard Bohringer. It was a big success with more than three million attendances in France, the movie was #5 in 1977 in France.[2] She also play in Pardon Mon Affaire, Too!, directed by Yves Robert and written by him and Jean-Loup Dabadie, it starred Jean Rochefort, Claude Brasseur, Guy Bedos, Victor Lanoux, Danièle Delorme, Marthe Villalonga, Jean-Pierre Castaldi and Daniel Gélin. The movie was also a big success with more than two million attendances in France, and was #8 in 1977 in France.[3]

She played Nadine in This Sweet Sickness, directed by Claude Miller, based on the novel written by Patricia Highsmith. The movie starred Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou, Claude Piéplu, Dominique Laffin and Christian Clavier. She also acted, under the direction of Philippe Monnier, in "Monsieur Papa", in which the dialogue was written by Jean-Marie Poiré. She starred alongside Claude Brasseur, Nathalie Baye, Daniel Auteuil and Éva Darlan. Finally, she appeared (in an uncredited role) in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, directed by Vincent McEveety, written by Don Nelson and starring Dean Jones, Don Knotts, Julie Sommars, Jacques Marin, Roy Kinnear, Bernard Fox, Eric Braeden, Johnny Haymer and Gérard Jugnot. With almost three millions attendances in France and nearly 30 million worldwide, the movie was a big success.

In 1978, she played in "Si vous n'aimez pas ça, n'en dégoûtez pas les autres", with Gérard Jugnot and Thierry Lhermitte, and in "Les Petits Câlins", directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, alongside Dominique Laffin, Françoise Bertin and Gérard Jugnot. Then, she was in "La Tortue sur le dos", with Jean-François Stévenin, Bernadette Lafont, Claude Miller, Marion Game, Valérie Quennessen, Michel Blanc, Marie-Anne Chazel and Christian Clavier. She had the leading role in the comedy "Pauline et l'Ordinateur", for which she wrote the dialogue and where she acted next to Gérard Jugnot, Éva Darlan, Jacques Attali and Marie-Anne Chazel. Finally, she played Nathalie Morin in the cult comedy Les Bronzés, directed by Patrice Leconte, with her friends from Le Splendid, Marie-Anne Chazel, Michel Blanc, Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte, Christian Clavier and Dominique Lavanant. The movie was a hit with more than two million attendances.[4]

In 1979, She played Emma-Ammé in one episode of the TV Mini-Series, "Les Quatre Cents Coups de Virginie", alongside Anémone. Then Nathalie Morin again, in the sequel Les Bronzés font du ski with the same cast, which was also a success with more than a millions attendances.[5] She also appeared as a client in the movie "Les héros n'ont pas froid aux oreilles", with Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Jugnot, Roland Giraud, Gérard Lanvin, Michel Blanc, Thierry Lhermitte, Marie-Anne Chazel and Christian Clavier.

1981-1990 : Success & Directing Debut

Josiane Balasko in October 2013 to Namur

The year 1981 was very successful for Josiane. First, she played Louise in Clara et les Chics Types, with Daniel Auteuil, Christian Clavier, Thierry Lhermitte, Isabelle Adjani, Roland Giraud and Philippe Nahon. Then, she had the leading role in the very successful comedy Les hommes préfèrent les grosses. The movie was a big success with almost two millions attendances.[6] It was directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, written by Balasko and him and starred Daniel Auteuil, Dominique Lavanant, Thierry Lhermitte, Martin Lamotte and François Berléand. After this, she was in another comedy named Le Maître d'école, directed by Claude Berri. She played Mlle Lajoie alongside Coluche, Charlotte de Turckheim and Roland Giraud. The movie was also a huge success with more than 3 million attendances, this was the #9 movie at the French Box Office in 1981.[7] She then played Colette, a supporting role, in Hotel America directed by André Téchiné, with Catherine Deneuve, Patrick Dewaere and DominiqueLavanant.

In 1982, she was back with Le Splendid (and Anémone) and together they made an other cult movie : Le Père Noël est une ordure. Josiane was directed for the third time by Jean-Marie Poiré. The movie was again a big success with more than a million and a half attendances in France.[8]

In 1983, she continued to follow her road with two comedy hits. First, another cult movie with Le Splendid, Papy fait de la résistance. The movie was again directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, and Le Splendid play alongside Michel Galabru, Dominique Lavanant, Jacques Villeret, Roland Giraud, Martin Lamotte, Pauline Lafont, Julien Guiomar, Jean Carmet, Jean-Claude Brialy and Bernard Giraudeau. There were more than 4 million attendances for this movie which become #7 in the 1983 French box office.[9] Then, she played the leading role in the comedy Signes extérieurs de richesse, directed by Jacques Monnet. Claude Brasseur, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Roland Giraud, Pascale Ogier, Charlotte de Turckheim and Jean Reno also starred in the movie. It was another success for Balasko, with more than a million attendances at the box office.[10]

In 1984, she played a supporting role in the comedy P'tit Con, directed by Gérard Lauzier. The cast include Guy Marchand and Daniel Auteuil. Then, she had the leading role in another comedy, La smala, directed by Jean-Loup Hubert alongside Victor Lanoux, Dominique Lavanant, Thierry Lhermitte and Martin Lamotte. Finally, she played a supporting role in the comedy La vengeance du serpent à plumes directed by Gérard Oury. Coluche had the leading role in this comedy. The movie was Josiane biggest success of the year with more than two and a half million attendances in France.[11]

In 1985, she appeared in the movie Tranches de vie directed by François Leterrier. In the cast were Laura Antonelli, Michel Boujenah, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Christian Clavier, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Audrey Dana, Marie-Anne Chazel, Roland Giraud, Pierre Mondy, Daniel Prévost, Gérard Jugnot, Michel Galabru, Anémone and Martin Lamotte. But the year will be mostly important for Balasko who made her directional debut with the comedy Sac de noeuds. She directed, write and starred in the movie. The cast included Isabelle Huppert, Jean Carmet, Coluche and Dominique Lavanant.

1990 onward : Continuing success

Since 1990 she has enjoyed a busy career acting in numerous films in a very wide variety of roles but having an international directing success in 1995 with Gazon Maudit (French Twist) in which she co-starred with Alain Chabat and gained her a César for best screenplay and a nomination for best film. In 2006 she was re-united once again with the Le Splendid team for another Bronzés film Bronzés 3: Amis pour La Vie (Friends for life).

Personal life

Bruno Moynot was her partner from 1974 to 1981. In a second union with sculptor Philippe Berry (brother of actor Richard Berry), she has a daughter, Marilou Berry, born February 1, 1983 in Paris, actress herself, and an adopted son, Rudy Berry born in 1988.

Divorced from Philippe Berry in 1999, she remarried Native American actor George Aguilar in 2003, she met on the set of The Frenchman's Son in 1999.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1973 The Year 01 Jacques Doillon, Alain Resnais
& Jean Rouch
L'Agression Frank Cassenti Short
1976 The Tenant Office Worker Roman Polanski
1977 Pardon Mon Affaire, Too! Josy Yves Robert
This Sweet Sickness Nadine Claude Miller
Animal Supermarket Girl Claude Zidi
Monsieur Papa Philippe Monnier
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Vincent McEveety
Solveig et le Violon turc Jean-Jacques Grand-Jouan
An Unusual Girl Simone Philippe Nahoun
1978 French Fried Vacation Nathalie Morin Patrice Leconte
The Little Wheedlers Corinne Jean-Marie Poiré
Pauline et l'Ordinateur Pauline Francis Fehr
Si vous n'aimez pas ça, n'en dégoûtez pas
les autres
A spectator Raymond Lewin
Like a Turtle on Its Back Luc Béraud
1979 French Fried Vacation 2 Nathalie Morin Patrice Leconte (2)
Heroes Are Not Wet Behind the Ears A client Charles Nemes
Les Quatre Cents Coups de Virginie Emma-Ammé Bernard Queysanne TV Mini-Series
1981 Le Maître d'école Mlle Lajoie Claude Berri
Hotel America Colette André Téchiné
Clara et les Chics Types Louise Jacques Monnet
Men Prefer Fat Girls Lydie Langlois Jean-Marie Poiré (2)
1982 Santa Claus Is a Stinker Madame Musquin Jean-Marie Poiré (3)
1983 Signes extérieurs de richesse Béatrice Flamand Jacques Monnet (2)
Gramps Is in the Resistance The pharmacist Jean-Marie Poiré (4)
1984 P'tit Con Rolande Gérard Lauzier
The Vengeance of the Winged Serpent Jackie Gérard Oury
La smala Simone Jean-Loup Hubert
1985 All Mixed Up Anita Josiane Balasko
Tranches de vie Madame Dupuis François Leterrier
1986 Nuit d'ivresse Frède Bernard Nauer
The Joint Brothers Aline Hervé Palud
1987 Lady Cops Mireille Molineux Josiane Balasko (2)
1988 Without Fear or Blame Handmaid Gérard Jugnot
Nuit d'ivresse Simone Alain Dhénaut TV Movie
1989 Too Beautiful for You Colette Chevassu Bertrand Blier Nominated - César Award for Best Actress
Une nuit à l'Assemblée Nationale The journalist Jean-Pierre Mocky
1991 My Life Is Hell Leah Lemonier Josiane Balasko (3)
The Professional Secrets of Dr. Apfelgluck The scientist Alessandro Capone, Thierry Lhermitte, ..
1993 Not Everybody's Lucky Enough to Have
Communist Parents
Irène Jean-Jacques Zilbermann Nominated - César Award for Best Actress
Shadow of a Doubt Sophia Aline Issermann
1994 Dead Tired Herself Michel Blanc
1995 French Twist Marijo Josiane Balasko (4)
1997 Didier Madame Massart Alain Chabat
Arlette Arlette Bathiat Claude Zidi (2)
1998 Un grand cri d'amour Gigi Ortega Josiane Balasko (5)
1999 The Frenchman's Son Suzanne Gérard Lauzier (2)
2000 The Libertine Baroness Holbach Gabriel Aghion
Actors André Dussollier 2 Bertrand Blier (2)
Chicken Run Bernadette Peter Lord & Nick Park French Voice
2001 A Crime in Paradise Lucienne Braconnier Jean Becker
Absolutely Fabulous Edith Mousson Gabriel Aghion (2)
2002 The Race Madame Jo Djamel Bensalah
2003 That Woman Michèle Varin Guillaume Nicloux Nominated - César Award for Best Actress
2004 Madame Édouard Nina Tchitchi Nadine Monfils
2005 The Ex-Wife of My Life Marie-Pierre Sarrazin Josiane Balasko (6)
It's Our Life! Blanche Delhomme Gérard Krawczyk
I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed Marguerite Duras Serge Le Péron & Saïd Smihi
2006 French Fried Vacation 3 Nathalie Morin Patrice Leconte (3)
2007 L'Auberge rouge Rose Martin Gérard Krawczyk (2)
The Key Michèle Varin Guillaume Nicloux (2)
2008 A French Gigolo Irène Josiane Balasko (7)
Ruby Blue Stéphanie Jan Dunn
A Day at the Museum Mother in Chanel Jean-Michel Ribes
Françoise Dolto, le désir de vivre Françoise Dolto Serge Le Péron (2) TV Movie
2009 The Hedgehog Renée Michel Mona Achache Nominated - Women Film Critics Circle for Courage in Acting Award
Park Benches Solange Renivelle Bruno Podalydès
Neuilly Yo Mama! School's director Gabriel Julien-Laferrière
2010 Holiday Christiane Mercier Guillaume Nicloux (3)
2011 A Happy Event Claire Rémi Bezançon
Beur sur la ville Mamie Nova Djamel Bensalah (2)
2012 Sport de filles Joséphine de Silène Patricia Mazuy
Maman Paulette Mine Alexandra Leclère
Mes héros Olga Eric Besnard
2013 Demi-soeur Antoinette Novack Josiane Balasko (8)
2014 Aunt Hilda! Dolorès Benoît Chieux & Jacques-Rémy Girerd
Les Gazelles Brigitte Mona Achache (2)
The law of Barbara Barbara Malo Didier Le Pêcheur TV Series (3 Episodes)
2015 The Roommates Party Bernadette Alexandra Leclère (2)
2016 Arrête ton cinéma Brigitte Diane Kurys
Joséphine s'arrondit Josephine's mother Marilou Berry
Back to Mom's Jacqueline Mazerin Éric Lavaine
2017 The New Adventures of Cinderella Lady Tremaine Lionel Steketee Filming
Petit Homme Eric Besnard (2) Post-Production


Year Title Box Office Notes
1985 Sac de noeuds $4.7 million[12]
1987 Les keufs $8 million[13]
1991 My Life Is Hell $8.8 million[14]
1995 French Twist $75.2 million[15] César Award for Best Writing
Palm Springs International Film Festival - Best Foreign Language Film
Lumières Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Nominated - César Award for Best Film
Nominated - César Award for Best Director
Nominated - GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release
Nominated - Festival du Film Francophone - Film in Competition
1998 Un grand cri d'amour $3.4 million[16]
2005 L'Ex-femme de ma vie $6.8 million[17]
2008 Cliente $10.1 million[18] Nominated - Sundance Film Festival for Grand Jury Prize : World Cinema Dramatic
Nominated - Rome Film Festival for Golden Marc'Aurelio Award
Nominated - City of Lights, City of Angels - In Competition Nominated - Hublot d'Or - Best Adaptation
Nominated - Young Public Award - Best Adaptation
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Comedy Film
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Actress
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Screenplay
Nominated - RAIMU Award - Best Direction
Nominated - Festival du Film Francophone - Film in Competition
2013 Demi-soeur $1.6 million[19]


Movies starring Josiane Balasko with more than a million of entries in France.

Films Director Year France (entries)
1 Les Bronzés 3: Amis pour la vie Patrice Leconte 2006 10,355,930
2 Papy fait de la résistance Jean-Marie Poiré 1983 4,104,082
3 French Twist Josiane Balasko 1995 3,990,094
4 Animal Claude Zidi 1977 3,157,789
5 Le Maître d'école Claude Berri 1981 3,015,596
6 Didier Alain Chabat 1997 2,902,960
7 La vengeance du serpent à plumes Gérard Oury 1984 2,663,303
8 Neuilly sa mère! Gabriel Julien-Laferrière 2009 2,517,140
9 Les Bronzés Patrice Leconte (2) 1978 2,308,644
10 Les Frères Pétard Hervé Palud 1986 2,179,370
11 A Crime in Paradise Jean Becker 2001 2,137,829
12 Back to Mom's Éric Lavaine 2016 2,120,106
13 Pardon Mon Affaire, Too! Yves Robert 1977 2,080,789
14 Too Beautiful for You Bertrand Blier 1989 2,031,131
15 Grosse fatigue Michel Blanc 1994 2,015,230
16 Les hommes préfèrent les grosses Jean-Marie Poiré (2) 1981 1,931,038
17 Le Père Noël est une ordure Jean-Marie Poiré (3) 1982 1,582,732
18 Les Bronzés font du ski Patrice Leconte (3) 1979 1,535,781
19 The Race Djamel Bensalah 2002 1,456,267
20 Nuit d'ivresse Bernard Nauer 1986 1,381,464
21 Absolument fabuleux Gabriel Aghion 2001 1,370,394
22 My Life Is Hell Josiane Balasko (2) 1991 1,170,523
23 The Roommates Party Alexandra Leclère 2015 1,131,775
24 Signes extérieurs de richesse Jacques Monnet 1983 1,074,802
25 Les Keufs Josiane Balasko (3) 1987 1,071,467


Year Title Author Director
1970 La pipelette ne pipa pas Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1971 Quand j'srai grande, j'srai paranoïaque Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1973 Jeanne l'ébouriffée Catherine Dasté Catherine Dasté
1975 Silence là-dedans
1976 Le Pot de terre contre le pot de vin Le Splendid Le Splendid
Ginette Lacaze Coluche Coluche
1977 Amour, coquillages et crustacés Le Splendid Le Splendid
1979 Le Père Noël est une ordure Le Splendid Philippe Galland
1982 Bunny's bar Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1985 Nuit d'ivresse Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1989 L'Ex-femme de ma vie Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
1992 Solo Willy Russell Josiane Balasko
1996-97 Un grand cri d'amour Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2002 Nuit d'ivresse Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2006 Dernier Rappel Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2009 Tout le monde aime Juliette Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2011-12 La nuit sera chaude Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2014-15 Un grand moment de solitude Josiane Balasko Josiane Balasko
2016-17 The Woman Destroyed Simone de Beauvoir Hélène Fillières



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