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One of the first things you should know about Vincent Perez is that he is NOT French. Though his birthplace is Lausanne, Switzerland where French is spoken, he descends from Spanish and German blood. He was born on June 10, 1964, the second of three children. His father left Spain for a better life and began working in the import/export business while his mother left her native land and settled as a  homemaker. Though his father wanted him to study business, Vincent had other dreams, and with the encouragement of his mother, he left Switzerland and moved to France when he was eighteen. 

Before settling on acting, he considered becoming a sculptor, painter or photographer. He says, "I decided not to be an artist because I feared solitude. It was a way of dealing with my fears. I was extremely shy and unhappy with my life." He adds that he had dreamed of becoming an actor since seeing a Charlie Chaplin movie at the age of 7. "I recognized myself in him."  Vincent describes himself as a quiet, accident-prone boy. However, he was drawn to acting because of the laughs he got doing impersonations of teachers and classmates for his family. 

He began his acting studies in Geneva, went on to the Paris Conservatoire and completed his training at L'Ecole des Amandiers in Nanterre. Vincent quickly learned during his first years out of school, working in the French theater, that audiences elsewhere could be tougher. "Nothing is going to be given to you, you have to work and work," Perez says. "Everything is sweat."

While still a student, he made his screen debut in Gardien De Nuit (1986.) He gained a worldwide following when he co-starred with Gerard Depardieu in the phenomenally successful Cyrano De Bergerac (1990)and went on to starring roles in  the 1993 Oscar winner Indochine, Alexandre Jardin's Fanfan and Patrice Chereau's 1994 Cannes prize-winning La Reine Margot. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious Prix Jean Gabin and in the same year made his directing debut with the short film L'Exchange.  He has been nominated twice for a Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Le Bossu (1997) and Ceux Qui M'aiment Prendront le Train (1998).

See the filmography section for a full list of his work as actor and director and the photography section for his work as a photographer.

Vincent Perez has been married to Senegalese model/actress/writer Karine Silla since 1998. They live in France with their three children - Iman, and twins Pablo and Tess. 


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