French-Speaking Celebrities

A Number of Notables Speak the Romance Language

Maya Angelou

Getty Images/Jack Sotomayor / Contributor

If your students don't see any point in learning French, maybe J.K. Rowling and Johnny Depp can help. They are among the famous non-native French speakers around the world listed below. If your students know how many cool people speak French, they might realize how great it would be to learn this Romance language—just like some of their favorite movie and television stars, musicians, and novelists.

Note that this is a list of people from non-French-speaking countries or regions only. Céline Dion, for example, is not on this list because she is French-Canadian.

Directors, Actors, and Television Personalities

From the "Terminator" and a famous television chef to some of the top American acteurs (actors) and actrices (actresses), this group of French-speaking personalities is surprisingly large. 

  • Woody Allen (American director and actor)
  • Cristiane Amanpour (British reporter)
  • Halle Berry (American actress)
  • Orlando Bloom (British actor)
  • Anthony Bourdain (American chef)
  • Lorraine Bracco (American actress)
  • Jennifer Connelly (American actress)
  • Bradley Cooper (American actor)
  • Robert De Niro (American actor)
  • Johnny Depp (American actor)
  • Shannen Doherty (American actress)
  • Jane Fonda (American actress)
  • Jodie Foster (American actress)
  • Morgan Freeman (American actor)
  • Milla Jovovich (Ukrainian-born American model and actress)
  • Hugh Grant (British actor)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (American actress)
  • Ethan Hawke (American actor)
  • John Hurt (British actor)
  • William Hurt (American actor)
  • Jeremy Irons (British actor)
  • Angelina Jolie (American actress)
  • Grace Jones (Jamaican-American singer, model, actress)
  • Ashley Judd (American actress)
  • Ted Koppel (English-born American broadcast journalist
  • Lisa Kudrow (American actress)
  • Matt Leblanc (American actor)
  • Tommy Lee Jones (American actor)
  • Andie MacDowell (American actress)
  • John Malkovich (American actor)
  • Ewan McGregor (Scottish actor)
  • Danica McKellar (American actress)
  • Helen Mirren (British actress)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (American actress)
  • Matthew Perry (American actor)
  • Christopher Plummer (Canadian actor)
  • Natalie Portman (Israeli actress)
  • Molly Ringwald (American actress)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (Austrian actor, former governor of California)
  • William Shatner (Canadian actor)
  • Ally Sheedy (American actress)
  • Mira Sorvino (American actress)
  • Oliver Stone (American filmmaker)
  • Sharon Stone (American actress)
  • Meryl Streep (American actress)
  • Emma Thompson (British actress)
  • John Travolta (American actor)
  • Alex Trebek (Canadian, game show host)
  • Uma Thurman (American actress)
  • Emma Watson (British actress)
  • Sigourney Weaver (American actress)


A number of the world's top pop and country singers speak French, even the singer who made "Rocket Man" famous.

  • Justin Bieber (Canadian singer-songwriter)
  • Phil Collins (British singer)
  • Julio Iglesias (Spanish singer)
  • Mick Jagger (British musician)
  • Elton John (British musician)
  • Madonna (American singer, actress)
  • Alanis Morisette (Canadian and American singer-songwriter)
  • Sting (British musician)
  • Shania Twain (Canadian singer)
  • Tina Turner (American singer)

Authors and Poets

A few non-native scribes, including the creator of the "Harry Potter" series and a Nobel Prize-winning poet, speak the language.

  • Maya Angelou (American author and poet)
  • Angela Davis (American activist and author)
  • John Hume (Irish Nobel Prize winner)
  • J.K. Rowling (British novelist)


Clearly, a few models have found it advantageous to learn French.

  • Linda Evangelista (Canadian model)
  • Elle MacPherson (Australian model)
  • Claudia Schiffer (German model)

Other Notables

From two former first ladies, two queens and two popes to a top tennis pro, the French language clearly has its draws.

  • Madeleine Albright (Czech, former U.S. secretary of state)
  • Tony Blair (former British prime minister)
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • Stephen Breyer (American Supreme Court justice)
  • Queen Elizabeth II (of England)
  • Pope John-Paul II
  • Jackie Kennedy Onassis (former American first lady)
  • Michelle Obama (former American first lady)
  • Mitt Romney (American politician)
  • Queen Silvia (of Sweden)
  • Serena Williams (American tennis player)
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Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "French-Speaking Celebrities." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). French-Speaking Celebrities. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "French-Speaking Celebrities." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).