Christopher Lambert

Last updated

Christopher Lambert
Christopher Lambert 2013.jpg
Lambert in 2013
Christophe Guy Denis Lambert

(1957-03-29) March 29, 1957 (age 67)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • novelist
Years active1979–present
(m. 1988;div. 1994)
Jaimyse Haft
(m. 1999;div. 2000)
Christopher Lambert at the German Comic Con 2017 Christopher Lambert - German Comic Con 2017.jpg
Christopher Lambert at the German Comic Con 2017

Christophe Guy Denis "Christopher" Lambert ( /ˈlæmbərt/ ; French: [lɑ̃bɛʁ] ; born March 29, 1957) is a French actor. He started his career playing supporting parts in several French films, and became internationally famous for portraying Tarzan in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984). For his performance in the film Subway (1985), he received the César Award for Best Actor. His most famous role is Connor MacLeod in the adventure-fantasy film Highlander (1986) and the subsequent franchise of the same name.


Early life

Christophe Guy Denis Lambert [1] was born in Great Neck, New York, on March 29, 1957, the son of Yolande Agnès Henriette (née de Caritat de Peruzzis), [2] and Georges Lambert-Lamond, [3] a French diplomat at the United Nations. [4] His father was Jewish. [5] Due to his father's work, Lambert moved with his parents to Switzerland at the age of two, [1] and was raised in Geneva, where he attended the International School of Geneva [6] and the Institut Florimont until his teenage years, [1] when the family moved to France and settled in Paris. [7] Lambert's debut in acting was in a school play age 12. [1]


Director Hugh Hudson and Warner Brothers sought out Lambert, wanting an unknown actor to play Tarzan, a human raised by apes in the jungle. [8] Lambert got the role partly due to his myopia, because when he took off his glasses it seemed he was always looking into the distance. [9] Released in 1984, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes , was nominated for many awards. [9] Also that year, Lambert starred opposite Catherine Deneuve in Love Songs .

He played the lead in Luc Besson's stylistic film Subway (1985), about a man being hunted in the underground subways of Paris. [10] In 1986, Russell Mulcahy's Highlander premiered. [11] In the film, Lambert starred as Connor MacLeod, an immortal warrior who could only be killed by decapitation. [11] The film became a cult hit and was an international box-office success, rock group Queen composed and performed the soundtrack, [7] and Lambert also appeared as MacLeod in the music video for Queen's "Princes of the Universe". [12] In 1987, Lambert played the leading role of Salvatore Giuliano in The Sicilian , [13] directed by Michael Cimino. In 1988, he starred in Agnieszka Holland's To Kill a Priest , in which he played a character based on Jerzy Popiełuszko and his murder under the Polish communist regime. [14]

In 1991, Highlander II: The Quickening premiered, reuniting Lambert with director Russell Mulcahy and fellow actor Sean Connery. [15] Shot in Argentina to reduce production costs; which was going through a financial crisis, much of the script was not filmed and the final result was a patchwork. [16] It was said, Lambert threatened to walk out of the project when it was nearing fruition, However, due to contractual obligations, he did reconsider. [16] In 1992, he appeared in three projects. He appeared in the first episode of the television show Highlander: The Series , passing on the lead role to actor Adrian Paul. [16] He also appeared in the French crime thriller Max et Jérémie , co-starring Philippe Noiret and Jean-Pierre Marielle. [17]

In 1993, Carl Schenkel's suspense thriller Knight Moves premiered, in which Lambert was both an executive producer and the lead. [18] Lambert plays a chess grandmaster suspected of murder. [18] Later that year, Stuart Gordon's science fiction film Fortress premiered, with Lambert playing the lead. [19] The story takes place in a dystopian future where a man and his wife are sent to a maximum-security prison because they are expecting a second child, which is against the strict one-child policy.

1994 saw the release of two collaborations with actor Mario Van Peebles. [16] They played the side by side leads in the action film Gunmen , and Van Peebles was the main villain in Highlander III: The Sorcerer . [16] In this third installment of the franchise, Connor MacLeod is forced to face a new, dangerous enemy, a powerful sorcerer known as Kane who wants to gain world domination. [16] Lambert also starred in the action film Roadflower . In France, he produced his second Patrick Braoudé film called Neuf mois , which was nominated for two Césars. [20]

In 1995, he played the role of the thunder god Raiden in the Paul W. S. Anderson's movie adaptation of the popular video game series Mortal Kombat . [21] The plot of the film follows the warrior monk Liu Kang, the actor Johnny Cage, and the soldier Sonya Blade, all three guided by the god Raiden, [21] on their journey to combat the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung and his forces in a tournament to save Earth. [21] Lambert later reprised the role in the MK Movie Skin Pack in the 2020 game Mortal Kombat 11 . [21] Also that year, he also starred in the American-Japanese martial arts action film The Hunted , directed by J. F. Lawton, with a cast that included John Lone, Joan Chen, Yoshio Harada, and Yoko Shimada, [22] and produced Xavier Beauvois's Don't Forget You're Going to Die , which won the Special Jury Award at the Gijón International Film Festival, won the Prix Jean Vigo, won the Jury Prize and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. [13] [23] Lambert was also an executive producer on Chris Columbus' Nine Months , [13] an English-language remake of Neuf mois . [13]

In 1996, Lambert was an executive producer and the lead in Nils Gaup's western film North Star , co-starring James Caan. [13] The same year he was a producer of When Saturday Comes , a football sport drama starring Sean Bean. [13] In 1997, he starred in Gabriele Salvatores' cyberpunk science fiction film Nirvana . [17] The film tells the story of a virtual reality game designer, played by Lambert, who discovers that the main character of his game has achieved sentience due to an attack by a computer virus. The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. [24] The same year, he also co-lead with Ice-T in the action film Mean Guns , [13] and starred in the French film Arlette by Claude Zidi. [13]

In 1998, he produced and starred in Operation Splitsville, a remake of Génial, mes parents divorcent, which he produced several years earlier. The same year, he produced and played a man with a mental disability, who moved into a nursing home, in the film Gideon . [17] In 1999, he produced and starred in Russell Mulcahy's Resurrection , [13] where he plays a detective who is assigned to investigate the savage murder of a man who has bled to death from a severed arm. He also starred in science fantasy-action film Beowulf . [17] In 2000, he played in the fourth installment of the Highlander franchise, Highlander: Endgame . [16] The film reunited him with Adrian Paul, and would be last sequel Lambert appeared in. [16] The same year, he was still on the run from authorities in the sequel Fortress 2: Re-Entry . [17]

Lambert, Isabelle Huppert, and Claire Denis at the 66th Venice Film Festival 2009 Christopher Lambert, Isabelle Huppert, Claire Denis 66eme Festival de Venise (Mostra) 2.jpg
Lambert, Isabelle Huppert, and Claire Denis at the 66th Venice Film Festival 2009

He also starred in John Glen's The Point Men , about a team of Israeli agents being killed off one-by-one after a botched anti-terrorist operation. In 2003, he played in Absolon , a post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller film. [13] He was an executive producer on the film The Confessor (also known as The Good Shepherd) starring Christian Slater, Molly Parker, and Stephen Rea. In 2006, he was an executive producer and star on the film Day of Wrath. [13] He also played a supporting role in Richard Kelly's Southland Tales . [13]

In 2007, he starred in the vampire film Metamorphosis. [13] He starred in the Sophie Marceau directed French film Trivial . [13] In 2009, Lambert was a lead in Claire Denis' White Material ; both the film and Lambert's performance received critical acclaim. [25] [7] [26] The film stars Isabelle Huppert as a struggling French coffee producer in an unnamed French speaking African country, who decides to stay at her coffee plantation in spite of an erupting civil war. [7] The film has appeared on a number of critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2010. [27] That year, he also acted in Cartagena , with Sophie Marceau starring as a beautiful, free-spirited woman who becomes bedridden following a terrible accident. Against her better judgement, she hires a drunk middle-aged former boxer (Lambert) to cook and care for her. Although unqualified for the position, he is desperate for work, and slowly he wins the trust of the woman, who teaches him how to read. The film also won several awards in France.[ citation needed ]

Lambert with Sophie Marceau in October 2012 Lambert Marceau avp skyfall.jpg
Lambert with Sophie Marceau in October 2012

In 2011, Lambert starred as the villainous head monk Methodius in the Ghost Rider sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance , starring Nicolas Cage, in 2011. [28] He underwent sword training for three months [29] and shaved his head. [30] The film made $132.6 million worldwide. [31] Shortly afterwards, he got the role of Marcel Janvier (alias "The Chameleon"), a recurring villain in award-winning hit police crime TV drama NCIS: Los Angeles . His character was in six episodes from 2012 to 2013 – the two highest-rated seasons of the show. [32]

In 2014, he played in the biographical crime drama film Electric Slide , about the Los Angeles-based bank robber Eddie Dodson. In 2015, he co-starred in Claude Lelouch's Un plus une , a French romantic comedy film. He also co-starred in the biographical film 10 Days in a Madhouse , about the experiences of undercover journalist Nellie Bly. In 2016 he co-starred in Hail, Caesar! , a comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It is a fictional story that follows the real-life "fixer" Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanished during the filming of a biblical epic. That year, he cameoed as a French Army Captain in La folle histoire de Max et Léon , a French World War II comedy film. He also had a recurring role in the Russian-Portuguese biographical television show Mata Hari . That year, he also played the lead villain in the martial arts film Kickboxer: Retaliation .

Lambert plays the role of SS officer Karl Frenzel in the Russian film Sobibor by director Konstantin Khabensky, which was released in 2018. The film is a World War II drama about the only successful uprising in a Nazi death camp. [33] It was selected as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. [34] Lambert received high praise for "an outstanding and nuanced performance; he is unrecognisable as Frenzel, a demonic, fractured character". [35]

Lambert was part of the ensemble cast of Bel Canto from director Paul Weitz, an adaptation of the 2002 novel of the same name, by Ann Patchett. Lambert played the role of a French ambassador who was part of the Japanese embassy hostage crisis (also called the Lima Crisis) of 1996–1997 in Lima, Peru. Lambert received praise, along with the rest of the cast, for "performances [that] are uniformly excellent". [36]

Other ventures

Lambert has written two novels: La fille porte-bonheur in 2011 and Le juge in 2015. [37] [38]

Along with owning a mineral water business and food processing plant, Lambert produces Côtes du Rhône wines with his business partner Eric Beaumard at a vineyard in Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes. The label, Les Garrigues de Beaumard-Lambert, tops out at 4,000 cases and is sold mostly in Europe. Beaumard has primary creative control of the winery, but Lambert conducts barrel tests and monitors the various stages of the wine's evolution. [39]

Personal life

Lambert was married to American actress Diane Lane from 1988 until their divorce in 1994. [40] Their daughter was born in 1993. [7] Lambert married American actress Jaimyse Haft in 1999, and they divorced in 2000.[ citation needed ] From 2007 to 2014, he dated French actress Sophie Marceau. [41] [42]

Lambert has profound myopia and cannot see without his glasses. He cannot wear contact lenses and often has to perform while virtually blind, which has led to injuries while performing his own stunts. [43]


1979Ciao, les mecsThug at the dance partyFrenchCredited as Christophe Lambert
1980 The Telephone Bar Paul "Bébé" FranchiFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1981DouchkaFrenchTV film
1981AsphalteUn médecin à l'hôpital / The doctorFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1981Une sale affaireMullardFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1981Putain d'histoire d'amourInspecteur de policeFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1982Légitime violenceJockeyFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1982Cinéma 16: La Dame de cœurMarcelFrenchTV series episode
1984 Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes John Clayton / Tarzan English
1985 Paroles et Musique JeremyFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1985 Subway FredFrench César Award for Best Actor as Christophe Lambert
1986 Highlander Connor MacLeod English
1986 I Love You MichelFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1987 The Sicilian Salvatore Giuliano English
1988 Priceless Beauty (a.k.a.Love Dream)MenrouEnglish
1988 To Kill a Priest Father AlekEnglish
1990 Why Me? Gus CardinaleEnglish
1991 Highlander II: The Quickening Connor MacLeodEnglish
1992 Knight Moves Peter SandersonEnglish
1992 Highlander: The Series Connor MacLeodEnglishTV (one episode)
1992 Max et Jérémie Jeremie KolachowskyFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1992 Fortress John Henry BrennickEnglish
1993 Loaded Weapon 1 Man with Car PhoneEnglishDeleted scene, uncredited
1994 Gunmen Dani ServigoEnglish
1994 Roadflower JackEnglish
1994 Highlander III: The Sorcerer Connor MacLeod / Russell NashEnglish
1995 The Hunted Paul RacineEnglish
1995 Nine Months EnglishExecutive producer
1995 Mortal Kombat Raiden English
1996 North Star Hudson SaanteekEnglishas Christophe Lambert
1996 Adrenalin: Fear the Rush LemieuxEnglish
1996 Hercule et Sherlock VincentFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1997 Nirvana Jimi DiniItalian
1997 Arlette Frank MartinFrenchas Christophe Lambert
1997 Mean Guns LouEnglish
1999Operation SplitsvilleMax, P.E. TeacherEnglish
1999 Resurrection John PrudhommeEnglishalso writer
1999 Beowulf Beowulf English
1999 Gideon Gideon Oliver DobbsEnglish
2000 Fortress 2: Re-Entry John Henry BrennickEnglish
2000 Highlander: Endgame Connor MacLeodEnglish
2001 Aparté Short film
2001 Druids Vercingetorix Englishas Christophe Lambert
2001 Mazinkaiser Additional VoicesVideo game
2001 The Point Men Tony EckhardtEnglish
2002 King of Bandit Jing Additional VoicesTV miniseries, credited as Chris Lambert
2002The Piano PlayerAlex LaneyEnglish
2003 Absolon Detective Norman ScotEnglish
2003Janis and JohnLéonFrench
2004 À ton image ThomasFrench
2005 Dalida Richard Chanfray, Comte de Saint-GermainFrenchTV miniseries
2006Day of WrathRuy de MendozaEnglish
2006 Southland Tales Walter MungEnglish
2006 Le Lièvre de Vatanen Tom VatanenFrenchas Christophe Lambert
2007MetamorphosisConstantine ThurzoEnglish
2007 Trivial JacquesFrenchas Christophe Lambert
2008The Chauffeur (Kierowca)DevereauxPolish
2009 White Material Andre VialFrenchas Christophe Lambert [7]
2009Les AssociésPhilippe KaminskiFrenchTV film, credited as Christophe Lambert
2009 Cartagena LeoFrenchas Christophe Lambert
2010 Das Geheimnis der Wale Chris CassellGermanTV film
2011 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance MethodiusEnglish
2013Blood ShotThe PresidentEnglish
2012–2013 NCIS: Los Angeles Marcel Janvier / The ChameleonEnglishTV series (6 episodes)
2014 Electric Slide Roy FortuneEnglish
2015 Un plus une Samuel HamonFrench
2016 Hail, Caesar! Arne SlessumEnglish
2016 La folle histoire de Max et Léon Captain LassardFrenchAlso co-produced
2017Mothers [44] EnglishFilm
2017 Mata Hari Gustav KramerRussianTV miniseries
2017 Everyone's Life Antoine de VidasFrench
2017 Call My Agent! HimselfFrenchTV series (1 episode)
2018 Kickboxer: Retaliation Thomas MooreEnglish
2018 Sobibor Karl Frenzel RussianRussian Holocaust film
2018 Bel Canto Simon ThibaultEnglish
2019 The Blacklist Bastien Moreau / The CorsicanEnglishTV series
2020 Capitaine Marleau Thierry BégodeauFrenchTV series
2021The Creeps [45] [46] EnglishIn development

Video games

2020 Mortal Kombat 11 Raiden ("Earthrealm")EnglishVoice and model based on his past performance as the character in the 1995 live action film [47]

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