He was born in Chateauroux, Centre, France, the son of a sheet metal worker. His acting career started in the 1970s and by the early 1980s, he was one of the leading French actors gaining much attention for his role opposite Fanny Ardant in Francois Truffaut's film La Femme d'à côté (The Woman Next Door), and winning his first Cesar Award for Best Actor for his role in Le Dernier métro.
He has been nominated a record-setting 14 times for the Cesar Award as Best Actor. After his first win in 1981, he won a second time in 1991 for Cyrano de Bergerac for which he was also nominated for the 1990 Academy Award for Best Actor. In addition he also earned the following:
Depardieu is the highest paid actor in France, and one of the most powerful within the French film industry. In addition to the nearly sixty motion-pictures he has appeared in, he has also directed and/or produced several major films through his company, "DD Productions".