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Famous Playwrights from France

Updated June 14, 2019 11.0k views105 items

List of notable or famous playwrights from France, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in France and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to France. If you're trying to find out the names of famous French playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from France is included when available.

The list you're viewing has a variety of people, like Jean Genet and Jean-Paul Sartre, in it.

This historic playwrights from France list can help answer the questions "Who are some French playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from France?" These prominent playwrights of France may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected French playwrights.

Use this list of renowned French playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • 1

    Alain-René Lesage

    Dec. at 79 (1668-1747)

    BirthplaceSarzeau, France

    Alain-René Lesage (French pronunciation: ​[alɛ̃ ʁəne ləsaʒ]; 6 May 1668 – 17 November 1747; older spelling Le Sage) was a French novelist and playwright. Lesage is best known for his comic novel The...  more
  • 2

    BirthplaceTocopilla, Chile

    Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky (Spanish: [xoðoˈɾofski]; born 17 February 1929) is a Chilean-French filmmaker. Since 1948, Jodorowsky has worked as a novelist, screenwriter, a poet, a playwright, an...  more

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    #120 of 250 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked#212 of 732 The Greatest Directors In Movie History

  • 3

    Alexandre Bisson

    Dec. at 63 (1848-1912)

    BirthplaceBriouze, France

    Alexandre Bisson (9 April 1848 – 27 January 1912) was a French playwright, vaudeville creator, and novelist. Born in Briouze, Orne in Lower Normandy, he was successful in his native France as well as...  more
  • 4

    Alexandre Dumas

    Dec. at 68 (1802-1870)

    BirthplaceVillers-Cotterêts, France

    Alexandre Dumas (UK: , US: ; French: [alɛksɑ̃dʁ dyma]; born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie [dyma davi də la pajətʁi]; 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (French for...  more

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    #632 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#75 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

  • 5

    Alfred de Vigny

    Dec. at 66 (1797-1863)

    BirthplaceLoches, France

    Alfred Victor, Comte de Vigny (27 March 1797 – 17 September 1863) was a French poet and early leader of French Romanticism. He also produced novels, plays, and translations of Shakespeare....  more
  • 6

    Alphonse Daudet

    Dec. at 57 (1840-1897)

    BirthplaceNîmes, France

    Alphonse Daudet (French: [dodɛ]; 13 May 1840 – 16 December 1897) was a French novelist. He was the husband of Julia Daudet (Mastani) and father of Edmée Daudet, and writers Léon Daudet and Lucien...  more
  • 7

    Antoine Danchet

    Dec. at 76 (1671-1748)

    BirthplaceRiom, France

    Antoine Danchet (7 September 1671 – 21 February 1748) was a French playwright, librettist and dramatic poet....  more
  • 8

    Antoine Jacob

    Age: 381
    Antoine Jacob (1639, in Paris – 1685, in Aix), known as Montfleury, was a French actor and playwright and a rival of Molière....  more
  • 9

    Antonin Artaud

    Dec. at 51 (1896-1948)

    BirthplaceFrance, Marseille

    Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud (French: [aʁto]; 4 September 1896 – 4 March 1948), was a French dramatist, poet, essayist, actor, and theatre director, widely recognized...  more
  • 10

    Armand Salacrou

    Dec. at 90 (1899-1989)

    BirthplaceRouen, France

    Armand Camille Salacrou (9 August 1899 – 23 November 1989) was a French dramatist....  more
  • 11

    Arthur Bernède

    Dec. at 66 (1871-1937)

    BirthplaceRedon, France

    Arthur Bernède (5 January 1871 – 20 March 1937) was a French writer, poet, opera libretist, and playwright. He was born in Redon, Ille-et-Vilaine department, in Brittany. In 1919, Bernède joined...  more
  • 12

    Augustus Harris

    Dec. at 44 (1852-1896)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Sir Augustus Henry Glossop Harris (18 March 1852 – 22 June 1896) was a British actor, impresario, and dramatist....  more
  • 13

    Benjamin Fondane

    Dec. at 45 (1898-1944)

    BirthplaceSoutheast Europe, Nord-Est, Iași County, Iași, Iași metropolitan area

    Benjamin Fondane (French pronunciation: ​[bɛ̃ʒamɛ̃ fɔ̃dan]) or Benjamin Fundoianu (Romanian pronunciation: [benʒaˈmin fundoˈjanu]; born Benjamin Wechsler, Wexler or Vecsler, first name also Beniamin...  more
  • 14

    Bernard-Marie Koltès

    Dec. at 41 (1948-1989)

    BirthplaceMetz, France

    Bernard-Marie Koltès (French: [kɔltɛs]; 9 April 1948 – 15 April 1989) was a French playwright and theatre director best known for his plays La Nuit juste avant les Forêts (The Night Just Before the...  more
  • 15

    Boris Vian

    Dec. at 39 (1920-1959)

    BirthplaceVille-d'Avray, France

    Boris Vian (French: [bɔʁis vjɑ̃]; 10 March 1920 – 23 June 1959) was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. Today he is remembered...  more
  • 16

    BirthplaceJujurieux, France

    Charles Juliet (born 30 September 1934) in Jujurieux in Ain, is a French poet, playwright and novelist. He won the 2013 Prix Goncourt de la Poésie. His works have been translated into German,...  more
  • 17

    Charles Nicolas Favart

    Dec. at 56 (1749-1806)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Charles Nicolas Joseph Justin Favart (17 March 1749 in Paris – 1 or 2 February 1806) was a French playwright at the Comédie-Italienne for two decades. Favard was also an actor at the Comédie...  more
  • 18

    Charlotte Delbo

    Dec. at 71 (1913-1985)

    BirthplaceVigneux-sur-Seine, France

    Charlotte Delbo, (10 August 1913 – 1 March 1985) was a French writer chiefly known for her haunting memoirs of her time as a prisoner in Auschwitz, where she was sent for her activities as a member...  more
  • 19

    BirthplaceChâteauroux, France

    Christine Angot (born 7 February 1959) is a French writer and novelist....  more
  • 20

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Claude Roger-Marx (12 November 1888, Paris – 17 May 1977, Paris), was a French writer, and playwright, as well as an art critic and art historian like his father Roger Marx (1859–1913). He also used...  more
  • 21

    Edmond Gondinet

    Dec. at 60 (1828-1888)

    BirthplaceLaurière, France

    Edmond Gondinet (7 March 1828 – 19 November 1888) was a French playwright and librettist. This author, nearly forgotten today, produced forty plays of which several were successful. He collaborated...  more
  • 22

    Edmond Rostand

    Dec. at 50 (1868-1918)

    BirthplaceMarseille, France

    Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (UK: , US: , French: [ɛdmɔ̃ ʁɔstɑ̃]; 1 April 1868 – 2 December 1918) was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism and is known best for his play...  more
  • 23

    Émile Moreau

    Dec. at 81 (1877-1959)

    BirthplaceYonne, France

    Émile Moreau may refer to: Émile Moreau (businessman) (1856 – 1937), French bookseller, publisher and businessman Émile Moreau (playwright) (1852 – 1922), French playwright Émile Moreau (writer)...  more
  • 24

    Émile Zola

    Dec. at 62 (1840-1902)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (, also US: , French: [emil zɔla]; 2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary...  more
  • 25

    Emmanuel Théaulon

    Dec. at 54 (1787-1841)

    BirthplaceAigues-Mortes, France

    Marie-Emmanuel-Guillaume-Marguerite Théaulon de Lambert (14 August 1787, Aigues-Mortes – 16 November 1841) was a French playwright. A customs inspector, then an inspector of military hospitals, he...  more