Isabelle Petit-Jacques

Despite being prolific on stage and the small screen since the early 1980s, Isabelle Petit-Jacques remains best known for her association with French director Patrice Leconte. Trained at the Conservatoire National, she made her feature bow in Claude Lelouch's "Long Live Life" and took prominent supports in the sleuthing parody "My Brother-in-law Killed My Sister" and the race relations comedy "La Thune." But she was best seen as Fanny Betrand in Jerzy Kawalerowicz's account of Napoleon's exile on St Helena, "The Hostage of Europe," and as Lucie Coutaz, helping Abbé Pierre succor the homeless in "Hiver 54, l'abbé Pierre." However, she had to settle for bit parts in hit comedies like "Tatie Danielle" and "La Crise" before first teaming with Leconte on the touring stage company farce "Les Grands ducs" in 1996. Subsequently for Leconte, she played a courtier at Louis XIV's Versailles in the multi-award-winning satire "Ridicule," the bride jilted by Vanessa Paradis in "The Girl on the Bridge," psychiatrist Michel Duchaussoy's secretary in "Intimate Strangers" and the jeweler in "Voir la mer." But she figured most prominently in Leconte's "The Man on the Train," as the mistress warning retired teacher Jean Rochefort against trusting bank robber Johnny Hallyday. Elsewhere, Petit-Jacques has appeared in the sensitive deafness drama "Some Kind of Blue," as well as comedies exploring culture clashes ("Cuisine américaine"), romantic tiffs ("J'invente rien") and mid-life crises ("Vive la vie").