One of the most celebrated and well-respected French actresses of her generation, Nathalie Baye has enjoyed a lengthy career that has included multiple César awards and work with directors ranging from François Truffaut (who cast her in her breakthrough film La Nuit Américaine ) to Diane Kurys. A versatile performer who exudes both sensuality and skillful comic timing, Baye has been used to great effect in everything from serious psychological dramas to light romantic comedies.
Born in Mainneville on July 6, 1948, Baye, the daughter of painters, developed a passionate love of dance at an early age. Her passion took her to New York at the age of 17, where she trained as a ballerina for two years. Upon her return to France, she became interested in acting and studied drama at the Paris Conservatoire. Over the course of her studies she gained a reputation as a talented comedienne and made her screen debut opposite Isabelle Adjani in the 1971 comedy Faustine. Two years later, Truffaut cast her in a supporting part in his acclaimed comedy La Nuit Américaine (known as Day for Night in the U.S.) and Baye subsequently landed her first starring role in Maurice Pialat's marriage drama La Guele Ouverte (1974).