List of French Americans

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Franco-American flag

French Americans are U.S. citizens or nationals of French descent and heritage. The majority of Franco-American families did not arrive directly from France, but rather settled French territories in the New World (primarily in the 17th and 18th centuries) before moving or being forced to move to the United States later on (see Quebec diaspora and Great Upheaval). Also, the largest French territory in North America was sold to the U.S., absorbing their French citizens (see Louisiana Purchase). About thirteen million U.S. residents are of French descent, and about 1.5 million of them speak the French language at home. Being isolated, mixed with different cultures, or ignored, the French-Americans developed particular cultures that reflect varying degrees of adaptation of their environments. This gave birth to streams of French-Americans like the Acadians, the Cajuns (an Anglicization of the autonym Cadien, from the French word for Acadian, Acadien), Louisiana Créoles and many others.

The following is a list of notable French Americans by occupation, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are French American or must have references showing they are French American and are notable.

Business

General

William C. Durant (1861–1947) co-founder of General Motors and Chevrolet

Entertainment

Actors

  • Renée Adorée, French-born American actress
  • Jessica Alba, actress; mother is of partial French-Canadian ancestry
  • Cliff Arquette(1905–1974), American actor was of part French-Canadian descent, and his family's surname was originally "Arcouet"
  • Lewis Arquette (1935–2001), American actor, was French-Canadian descent
  • Patricia Arquette (born 1968), American actress, was French-Canadian descent
  • Alexis Arquette (July 28, 1969 – September 11, 2016), was an American actress, cabaret performer, underground cartoonist, and activist. Alexis was a French-Canadian descent
  • René Auberjonois (1940–2019), Tony Award-winner, American character actor (and grandson of the painter), best known for his early 1980s role as Clayton Endicott III on the television show Benson and his role as Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Tina Aumont, California-born actress; father was an immigrant from France
  • Alec Baldwin, actor, one of the four brothers; mother was of part French-Canadian ancestry
  • Daniel Baldwin, actor, one of the four brothers; mother was of part French-Canadian ancestry
  • Stephen Baldwin, actor, one of the four brothers; mother was of part French-Canadian ancestry
  • William Baldwin, actor, one of the four brothers; mother was of part French-Canadian ancestry
  • Lucille Ball (1911–1989), actress; mother was of partial French heritage
  • Adrienne Barbeau (born 1945), 1980s B-movie actress; father was of part French-Canadian ancestry
  • Jean-Marc Barr, French-American film actor and director
  • Earl W. Bascom (1906–1995), cowboy actor and artist, descendant of Nicolas Martiau
  • Hugh Beaumont, actor with large filmography; father was of French ancestry
  • Pierre Bellocq, French-American artist and horse racing cartoonist
  • Melissa Benoist, American actress, of partial French descent through paternal great-grandfather
  • Marcheline Bertrand, actress of half French-Canadian ancestry, mother of actress Angelina Jolie
  • Jessica Biel (born 1982), American actress with distant French roots
  • JB Blanc (born 1969), actor; father of French descent
  • Cate Blanchett, (actress)
  • Joan Blondell (1906–1979), American actress; father Eddie was of French descent
  • Caprice Bourret (born 1971), French American actress and model
  • Charles Boyer (1899–1978), film actor, immigrant from France
  • Elizabeth Bracco, actress with French and Italian ancestry
  • Lorraine Bracco, actress with French and Italian ancestry
  • Jules Brulatour, pioneering figure in American silent cinema
  • Mary Cadorette, former American actress
  • Dove Cameron, American actor of French descent
  • Dean Cain, American actor, of part French descent
  • Trishelle Cannatella (born 1979), American actress, model; of Cajun ancestry
Leslie Caron on the set of Gigi (1958)
  • Leslie Caron (born 1931), film actress and dancer; born in France
  • Charisma Carpenter (born 1970), American actress, of part French descent
  • Jim Carrey, Canadian-American actor; father was of French-Canadian ancestry and family surname was Anglicization of Carré
  • Lacey Chabert (born 1982), actress, father of mostly Cajun/French descent
  • Loan Chabanol (born 1982), actress
  • Timothée Chalamet (born 1995), French-American actor; born to a French father and an American mother, holds both passports
  • Lon Chaney, Sr., silent film actor, of part French descent
  • Lon Chaney, Jr., actor and son of Lon Chaney, Sr.; of part French descent
  • David Charvet, French-born American actor and singer, husband of Brooke Burke
  • Lilyan Chauvin, French-born actress
  • Robert Clary (born 1926), actor, published author, and lecturer
  • Claudette Colbert, French-born actress
  • Bud Cort (born 1948), actor, of partial French descent
  • Phil Cousineau, author, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker
  • Joan Crawford, actress, her father was of partial French Huguenot ancestry
  • Billy Crudup, actor
  • Willem Dafoe, actor, father was of partial French descent
  • Lili Damita, French-born actress
  • Bette Davis, film actress, born in Lowell, Massachusetts; father was of English descent and mother was of French-Canadian descent
  • Robert De Niro, one of the most acclaimed actors of all time; two-time Academy Award winner; mother had small amount of French ancestry
  • Ellen DeGeneres, actress, talk-show host; father was of part French descent
  • Johnny Depp (born 1963), actor; He is descended from a French Huguenot immigrant (Pierre Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700)
  • Lily-Rose Depp, French-born American actress and model. She is the daughter of American actor, producer, and musician Johnny Depp and French singer, actress, and model Vanessa Paradis.
The French-American actress Julie Delpy

Artists

Musicians

Other entertainers

Explorers

Law and politics

Governors and presidents

Congressmen and senators

The folk hero Davy Crockett

Mayors

Other politicians

Authors and writers

Education

Edward Sorin (1814–1893), founder of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Journalism

Military

Marquis de Lafayette, known as “The Hero of the Two Worlds” for his accomplishments in the service of the United States in the American War of Independence.

Religion

Science

Sports

Baseball

Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau

Basketball

Football

Hockey

NASCAR

Rodeo

  • Earl W. Bascom (1906–1995), rodeo pioneer, rodeo champion, rodeo hall of fame inductee, "father of modern rodeo"

Soccer

Tennis

Other sports

Other

Art

Cuisine

Miscellanea

See also

Notes