Jean Reno

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Jean Reno (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ ʁeno]; born July 30, 1948) is a French actor. Working in French, English, and Italian, he has appeared not only in numerous successful Hollywood productions such as The Pink Panther, Godzilla, The Da Vinci Code, Mission: Impossible, and Ronin, but also in European productions such as the French films Les Visiteurs (1993) and Léon (1994) along with the 2005 Italian film The Tiger and the Snow.


Early life

Reno was born Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez[1][2] in Casablanca, French Morocco. His Spanish parents were natives of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), and had moved to North Africa to find work and escape the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. His father was a linotypist.[3] His mother died when he was a teenager, and he has a younger sister called María Teresa ("Maite"). Reno was raised Catholic.[4] He moved to France at the age of seventeen and studied acting in the Cours Simon School of Drama.[5]


Due to his tall, hulking frame (188 cm, 6′2″), he mostly played villainous brutes early on in his career. He later appeared in romantic-comedies and action films. Reno's career began in French cinema, where he appeared in many of Luc Besson's films, including Besson's first film, L'Avant dernier. The two have continued to work together throughout their careers, in films produced, written or directed by Besson. Of the films they have done together, the ones that have achieved the most critical and commercial success include: Nikita (1990), the English-language films The Big Blue (1988), and Léon (1994) (known as The Professional in the United States). Additionally, Reno did the voice-over for Mufasa in the French-language version of The Lion King, a role originally performed by James Earl Jones.

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