Gerard Depardieu is an actor, director, businessman and vineyard owner.
Gerard Depardieu Net Worth: $ 250 million
Despite characterizing himself as “an uncouth peasant,” Depardieu became one of the most successful and popular French actors in the world.
Gerard Xavier Marcel Depardieu was born on December 27, 1948 in the city of Chateauroux in central France. His father, Rene, was an illiterate roofer, and his mother, Liletta (as her family called her), was the daughter of a military pilot, and was engaged in raising her children.
As a teenager, Depardieu spent more time on the streets and at the nearby American air base than at home. He was raised by the street — a world of petty thieves, brawlers, and drunks. In his autobiography, he said that at the age of 10, he looked 15 and in order to get money, he provided intimate services – his clients were truck drivers. The boy spent school holidays with his grandmother, who cleaned the public toilets at Orly Airport in the suburbs of Paris. According to him, it was the happiest time of his life. He would listen to the names of distant cities and dream that one day he would also fly far away.
In 1962, Depardieu received a certificate of incomplete secondary education and started working in a printing house as a press operator. In his spare time, he practiced boxing and even broke his nose in one of the sparring sessions. Depardieu’s intimidating appearance made him popular among his friends. They often took part in the cigarette trade, petty theft, along with stealing and reselling fuel from the American base. Sometimes Gerard would also help thieves dig up fresh graves to remove the dead people’s jewelry and shoes.
At the age of 16, he served three weeks in prison for stealing a car. At the same age, the guy was rushed into the hospital for alcohol poisoning, the doctors had to practically drag him back from “beyond.” Gerard often ran away from home and hitchhiked all over the country.
In the fall of 1965, his friend, who was going to enter a theater school in Paris, suggested that Depardieu go with him to the capital. There, on a whim, he went to see the school and attracted the attention of a professor, who asked the young man to act out a scene. Unlike the other applicants, Gerard was relaxed and free in expressing his emotions, receiving a positive reaction from the teacher and other students. This inspired Depardieu to take up acting seriously and enroll in courses taught by Jean-Laurent Cochet – one of the most famous theater teachers in France. At the theater school, Gerard studied for free, as he also worked as an assistant director. To earn a living, he worked at a train station unloading cars. At the same time, Depardieu started improving himself as an actor. He fixed his speech and enthusiastically read French classics, which he did not have the chance to as a child.
First appeared in cinema
In 1967, Gerard Depardieu first appeared in cinema, playing the main role of the Beatnik in the short film “The Beatnik and the Puss”. In Paris, the young man continued to engage in illegal activities. In May of 1968, he made a good profit from anti-government protests, stealing watches and purses out of students’ pockets.
Around the fall of 1968, Gerard met a student at the Cochet school, Elisabeth Guignot. Even though the girl was from a rich family, she was not worried about the difference in social status or the cultural gap between her and Depardieu. Yet, she was worried because she was six years older than him. On April 11, 1970, the young couple got married.
Participation in amateur theater
After graduating from acting school, Depardieu started participating in an amateur theater called Cafe de la Gare. There, he met the director Bertrand Blier, who eventually invited the young actor to act in the film adaptation of his own novel “Going Places”. The film was released in March 1974 and caused an unprecedented stir. It was called the most scandalous and at the same time “the most amazing” film, and Depardieu became both a popular actor and national hero among the youth.
In the film, Gerard essentially played himself – a guy who leads a carefree lifestyle and is engaged in robberies and car theft. In the next few years, Depardieu often appeared on the screens in such films as: “Vincent, Francois, Paul and others”, “The last Woman”, “This Sweet Sickness”, “Get Out Your Handkerchiefs”, “Bye Bye Monkey”, “The Dogs”, “Cold Cuts”, “Inspector Blunder”, “Loulou”, “My American Uncle” and others.
In 1980, the drama “The Last Metro” premiered, in which Gerard took on the role of actor Bernard Granger, and his on-screen lover was played by Catherine Deneuve. For this role, Depardieu received his first cinematic award “César”. Many tabloids called out the actor’s affair with Deneuve. In addition to “The Last Metro” for the next two years, they starred together in the films “I Love You All” and “Choice of Arms”. But they themselves claimed to be “just friends.” A second wave of great success washed over Depardieu, when he worked on the set with Pierre Richard. Their first joint project was the comedy “Knock on Wood” in 1981. And while Gerard wanted to get Richard’s role, the director refused him, giving it to Richard. To get revenge, the actor made the filming process rather difficult. He would throw tantrums, go on a binge, and so forth. Working conditions were already difficult. The film was shot in Mexico outdoors in the heat of 122 degrees. And Depardieu was even bitten by a scorpion.
Nominated for an Oscar
The Frenchman played the main character and received 3 million French francs. Depardieu was nominated for an Oscar, won another Cesar Award and the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor. Gerard also delivered his thank-you speech in Cyrano style, thanking everyone with whom he worked on this film. After “Cyrano”, Gerard was invited to play the main role in the Hollywood film “Green Card”, for which the actor received a Golden Globe. Then came the films “My Father the Hero”, “All the Mornings of the World”, “A Pure Formality”, “Colonel Chabert”, “Élisa”, “Guardian Angels” and others. Meanwhile, Depardieu’s personal life was just as eventful.
He started an affair with the actress Carole Bouquet, whom he had met back in 1979 on the set of the film “Cold Cuts”. In 2005, they broke up because of Carole’s jealousy. There were plenty of reasons. Depardieu was credited with relationships with many of his co-stars, including Isabelle Adjani and Whoopi Goldberg. With the latter, the Frenchman starred in the 1996 family comedy “Bogus”. He received $ 2.4 million for this film.
The dramatic comedy “XXL”, which was released in 1997, was followed by a number of successful films. Those were, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, where the actor received 2.3 million euros for the role of Porthos and “Bimboland” as well as the mini-series “The Count of Monte Cristo”, for which he received 1 million 145 thousand dollars. In February 1999, the comedy “Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar” premiered. In the film Gerard Depardieu appeared in an incredibly comical image of Obelix. Later, the dramas “Balzac” and “The Bridge” were released.
In 2000, Depardieu played with Uma Thurman in the historical drama “Vatel”, for which he received 2.4 million euros. Then, he worked with Glenn Close in the family comedy “102 Dalmatians”, appeared as Jean Valjean in the mini-series “Les Miserables”, and starred in the Russian drama “The Envy of the Gods”. In 2001, the actor appeared in the fantasy “Vidocq”, the comedy “The Closet”, and the military drama “Unfair Competition”.
And in 2002, in addition to numerous appearances in supporting roles, Gerard played in the dramas “A Loving Father” and “Ruy Blas”, and in the second part of the film franchise “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra”. In 2003, Depardieu starred in the Russian TV series “Deadly Force”, as well as the films “Volpone”, “Ruby & Quentin”, “Bon Voyage!”, “The Pact of Silence” and “Crime Spree”. In the next few years, the actor added several other films to his filmography, such as “San Antonio”, “The 36”, “Changing Times”, “Let’s Be Friends”, “Paris, I love you”, in the latter he also directed one of the stories.
The Frenchman played the main roles in the films: “Michu of D’Aubert”, “Asterix at the Olympic Games”, “Dumas”, “Bellamy” and “Diamond 13” (for the last two films Depardieu received 1.5 million euros).
In 2010, Gerard Depardieu starred in the science fiction film “Glenn, the Flying Robot”, the comedy dramas “My Afternoons with Margueritte” and “Mammuth”, the drama “Small World” and the comedy “Trophy Wife”. For each of them he received 200 thousand euros. In 2011, Depardieu was at the center of attention because of a high-profile scandal involving obscene behavior.
Charged with assault
On his way from Paris to Dublin, during takeoff, the actor decided to go to the bathroom, but the flight attendant asked him to wait until the plane was in the air. According to the passengers, the actor was drunk and decided to relieve himself right there in the cabin. The following year, he was charged with assault and battery for striking a driver in Paris. Later, the famous actor filed a response complaint and accused the offender of extremely dangerous driving and non-compliance with traffic rules. And in November 2012, Gerard was arrested for drunk driving after he fell off a scooter. Meanwhile, the Frenchman starred in the dramas “The Man who Laughs” and the Kazakh film “My Sinful Angel”.
In the same year, another film about the adventures of two Gauls based on the 1966 comics, “Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia”, was released. Gerard Depardieu was the only actor to appear in all four films of the franchise. At the end of the year, Depardieu moved to Belgium to avoid paying a temporary “super tax” on luxury of 75%, and after a while even renounced his French citizenship. In a letter published by French newspapers, the actor claimed to have lost 85% of his income due to French taxes in the previous 12 months. He also said that he paid $ 192 million in taxes to the French government over the four decades of his career.
In January 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Gerard Russian citizenship. Depardieu registered in Saransk, where he moved around the city in a car with a blue “beacon light”, although their use is limited by law.
In 2013, the actor played the main roles in the films “A Farewell to Fools”, “Les Invincibles”, “The Mark of the Angels – Miserere”. Depardieu also starred in the Russian film version of “Rasputin” Soon there were reports that the French actor fell in love with his 21-year-old translator and after working on “Zaitsev+1” took her to Nice. In the following years, the actor continued to actively act, more often in cameo or minor roles.
He appeared in the main roles in the films: “Welcome to New York”, “Viktor”, “The Valley of Love”, “Saint-Amour”, the TV series “Marseille” and others. In addition, Depardieu played Joseph Stalin in the drama “Stalin’s Couch”. In 2018, Gerard starred in the main cast of the melodrama “The Other Woman”. Then he changed his Saransk residence permit to Novosibirsk. The following year, Gerard Depardieu played one of the main roles in the films “Fahim” and “Heavy Duty”.
Accounts in russian bank
In June there were reports that his sole entrepreneur accounts in Russian banks were blocked (the amount of debt was unknown). The account of the company “Gerard Depardieu Production Center”, created in 2016, was blocked at the beginning of that year too. By that time, the actor had already tried to get the citizenship of Turkey and Algeria, but with no success.
On August 31, 2020, the war drama “Home Front” with Gerard Depardieu in the main role was released. Shortly before that, the actor was detained in Paris for drunk driving and his scooter was confiscated. While waiting, he told the police that he no longer wanted to be French, and preferred Vladimir Putin.
Converted to Orthodoxy
In September, Depardieu converted to Orthodoxy at the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris. It is noteworthy that earlier the actor was islamised, and also was fond of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Accusation of raping
In February 2021, the French police re-opened an investigation that was previously closed in 2019. It was about Depardieu’s accusation of raping a young actress and dancer. Back in August 2018, the actor, presumably, invited the girl, the daughter of his friend, to his Paris apartment for a play rehearsal in an informal setting. The Frenchman denied all the charges against him. The release of the historical drama “Lost Illusions”, the crime comedy “Do You Do You Saint-Tropez” and the horror “Twins” are planned for this year.
Depardieu also began working on an animated series for adults under the working title “Only Depardieu knows!” based on anecdotes from his life. Gerard Depardieu’s net worth is estimated at $ 250 million.
In addition to cinema, Depardieu is professionally engaged in winemaking. He bought a 12th-century castle in the Loire River valley and 67 acres of vineyards that Clementine Igou now manages. The actor also opened wine cellars around the world, but some of them were closed due to unprofitability.
Previously, Depardieu was the owner of two restaurants in Paris. But in 2019, there were reports that he put up all the property for auction. It included a wine cellar with vintage wines at a price of up to 6 thousand euros per bottle. By the way, Depardieu is known for his love of cooking and even among the 5 books he has written, one of them was on the culinary arts. Depardieu often invests money in businesses, but not always successfully. In 2013, he put money into the investment company Holding 2712 (twenty-seven twelve) in Belgium, but three years later it suffered a loss of 62 thousand euros. His attempt to open a bar in Tournai, Belgium, also failed. Having received Russian citizenship, the actor registered as an individual entrepreneur and in the first year paid taxes under a simplified scheme, meaning his earnings amounted to less than 60 million rubles. In 2016, it turned out that 7.2 million rubles were debited from his company’s account to the account of entrepreneur Elena Lazareva, but Depardieu knew nothing about this. As a result, the court charged Lazareva in favor of the Frenchman first 591 thousand, and then more than 5 million rubles on the second claim.
In Saransk, the actor opened a cultural center, which he named after himself, and in Novosibirsk he runs the company “Taste of France”. Gerard Depardieu is also a Belgium citizen and pays taxes there if he films in Europe. But no one knows where exactly the famous actor lives now. In 2012, the actor bought a villa called “White Cloud” in the south-west region of Belgium. The interior of the house was painted in a simple and clean white color that blends well with wooden furniture. Gerard Depardieu put the villa up for sale several times, pricing it at 800 thousand euros, but experts estimated it worth at 1.2 million.
At the request of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, he also advertised Azerbaijani cuisine In 2014, the actor collaborated with a watch brand Cvstos and released a limited series of watches called “Proud to be Russian”. And in January of this year, together with the Volgorechensk fishery, he released a brand of black caviar called “Selected Depardieu”. Depardieu prefers motorcycles and scooters to cars. It is known that in 1998 year, the actor was in a motorcycle accident, and was also repeatedly detained for drunk driving. In addition, the actor has his own private jet. Gerard Depardieu’s filmography includes more than 240 works.