Known for both her blonde, ethereal beauty and her considerable talent, Julie Delpy is one of the most popular French actresses of her generation. Born to show business parents in Paris on December 21, 1969, Delpy was discovered at age 14 by director Jean-Luc Godard, who cast her in his 1985 Détective. The young actress had her first starring role two years later as the title character in Bertrand Tavernier's La Passion Béatrice, and then gained worldwide prominence with her portrayal of a young pro-Nazi eager to produce babies for the Fuhrer in Agneiszka Holland's Europa, Europa (1991).
Subsequent efforts to make Delpy a mainstream Hollywood actress in such films as The Three Musketeers (1993) were largely resisted by Delpy herself, who demonstrated a preference for appearing in the small, thought-provoking films best appreciated at cinema festivals. She made some of her more memorable appearances in Killing Zoe (1994), which cast her as a kind-hearted prostitute; Krzysztof Kieslowski 's Trois Couleurs: Blanc (1994), in which she played a young woman who divorces her hairdresser husband because of his impotency; and Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995), in which she gave an excessively charming portrayal of a woman who has a 24-hour romance with a young American (Ethan Hawke) she meets on a train.