READ Famous Playwrights from France

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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. (106 items)

1
Alain-René Lesage is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Alain-René Lesage Died at 79 (1668-1747) Alain-René Lesage was a French novelist and playwright. Lesage is best known for his comic novel The Devil upon Two Sticks, his comedy Turcaret, and his picaresque novel Gil Blas.

2
Alejandro Jodorowsky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Alejandro Jodorowsky age 86 Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult ...more

3
Alexandre Bisson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Alexandre Bisson Died at 64 (1848-1912) Alexandre Charles Auguste Bisson 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 in the ...more

4
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Alexandre Dumas Died at 68 (1802-1870) Alexandre Dumas, also known as Alexandre Dumas, père, was a French writer. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. ...more

5
Alfred de Vigny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Alfred de Vigny Died at 66 (1797-1863) Alfred Victor de Vigny was a French poet, playwright, and novelist.

6
Alphonse Daudet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Alphonse Daudet Died at 57 (1840-1897) Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist. He was the father of writers Léon Daudet and Lucien Daudet.

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Antoine Danchet is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Antoine Danchet Died at 77 (1671-1748) Antoine Danchet was a French playwright, librettist and dramatic poet.

8
Antoine Jacob is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Antoine Jacob Died at 45 (1640-1685) Antoine Jacob, known as Montfleury, was a French actor and playwright and a rival of Molière.

9
Antonin Artaud is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Antonin Artaud Died at 52 (1896-1948) Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud, was a French playwright, poet, essayist, actor, and theatre director.

10
Armand Salacrou is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Armand Salacrou Died at 90 (1899-1989) Armand Camille Salacrou was a French dramatist. He was born in Rouen, but spent most of his childhood at Le Havre, and moved to Paris in 1917. His first works show the influence of the ...more

11
Arthur Bernède is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Arthur Bernède Died at 66 (1871-1937) Arthur Bernède was a French writer, poet, opera libretist, and playwright. He was born in Redon, Ille-et-Vilaine department, in Brittany. In 1919, Bernède joined forces with actor ...more

12
Augustus Harris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Augustus Harris Died at 44 (1852-1896) Sir Augustus Henry Glossop Harris, was a British actor, impresario, and dramatist.

13
Benjamin Fondane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Benjamin Fondane Died at 46 (1898-1944) Benjamin Fondane or Benjamin Fundoianu was a Romanian and French poet, critic and existentialist philosopher, also noted for his work in film and theater. Known from his Romanian youth as a ...more

14
Bernard-Marie Koltès is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Bernard-Marie Koltès Died at 41 (1948-1989) Bernard-Marie Koltès was a French playwright and director.

15
Boris Vian is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Boris Vian Died at 39 (1920-1959) Boris Vian was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. He is best remembered today for his novels. Those published under the ...more

16
Charles Juliet is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Charles Juliet age 83 Charles Juliet 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, Spanish, Italian, ...more

17
Charles Nicolas Favart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Charles Nicolas Favart Died at 57 (1749-1806) Charles Nicolas Joseph Justin Favart was a French playwright at the Comédie-Italienne for two decades. Favard was also an actor at the Comédie Française for fifteen years. ...more

18
Charlotte Delbo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Charlotte Delbo Died at 72 (1913-1985) Charlotte Delbo, 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 of the French resistance.

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Christine Angot is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Christine Angot age 59 Christine Angot is a French writer, novelist and playwright.

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Claude Roger-Marx is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Claude Roger-Marx Died at 89 (1888-1977) Claude Roger-Marx, was a French writer, and playwright, as well as an art critic and art historian like his father Roger Marx. He also used the pen name "Claudinet".

21
Edmond Gondinet is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Edmond Gondinet Died at 60 (1828-1888) Edmond Gondinet was a French playwright and librettist. This author, nearly forgotten today, produced forty plays of which several were successful. He collaborated with Alphonse Daudet and ...more

22
Edmond Rostand is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Edmond Rostand Died at 50 (1868-1918) Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand's romantic plays contrasted ...more

23
Émile Moreau is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Émile Moreau Died at 82 (1877-1959) Émile Moreau was a French playwright and screenwriter. In co-operation with Victorien Sardou, he wrote the plays Madame Sans-Gêne and Cleopatre. He also wrote the play Les Amours de ...more

24
Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Émile Zola Died at 62 (1840-1902) Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola was a French writer, the most well-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of ...more

25
Emmanuel Théaulon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Emmanuel Théaulon Died at 54 (1787-1841) Marie-Emmanuel-Guillaume-Marguerite Théaulon de Lambert was a French playwright. A customs inspector, then an inspector of military hospitals, he composed an Ode on the birth of the King ...more

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Eugène Cormon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Eugène Cormon Died at 93 (1810-1903) Pierre-Étienne Piestre, known as Eugène Cormon, was a French dramatist and librettist. He used his mother's name, Cormon, during his career. Cormon wrote dramas, comedies and, from ...more

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Eugène Ionesco is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Eugène Ionesco Died at 85 (1909-1994) Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian playwright who wrote mostly in French, and one of the foremost figures of the French Avant-garde theatre. Beyond ridiculing the most banal situations, ...more

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Eugène Marin Labiche is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Eugène Marin Labiche Died at 73 (1815-1888) Eugène Marin Labiche was a French dramatist.

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Félicien Mallefille is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Félicien Mallefille Died at 55 (1813-1868) Jean Pierre Félicien Mallefille was a French novelist and playwright. Mallefille was born in Mauritius. He wrote a number of plays, including Glenarvon, Les sept enfants de Lara, Le cœur ...more

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Fernando Arrabal is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Fernando Arrabal age 83 Fernando Arrabal Terán is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet. Arrabal was born in Melilla, Spain, but settled in France in 1955; he describes himself as ...more

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Florence Delay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Florence Delay age 77 Florence Delay is a French academician and actress.

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Florian Zeller is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Florian Zeller age 38 Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. His work has been translated into many languages, including English. He won the prestigious Prix Interallié in 2004 for his novel ...more

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François Benoît Hoffmann is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
François Benoît Hoffmann Died at 68 (1760-1828) François-Benoît Hoffman was a French playwright and critic, best known today for his operatic librettos, including those set to music by Étienne Méhul and Luigi

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François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
François Mauriac Died at 85 (1885-1970) François Charles Mauriac was a French author, member of the Académie française, and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the

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Françoise Sagan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Françoise Sagan Died at 69 (1935-2004) Françoise Sagan – real name Françoise Quoirez – was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Hailed as "a charming little monster" by François Mauriac on ...more

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Frédérick Lemaître is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Frédérick Lemaître Died at 76 (1800-1876) Frédérick Lemaître — birth name Antoine Louis Prosper Lemaître — was a French actor and playwright, one of the most famous players on the celebrated Boulevard du

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Gabriel Marcel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Gabriel Marcel Died at 84 (1889-1973) Gabriel Honoré Marcel was a French philosopher, playwright, music critic and leading Christian existentialist. The author of over a dozen books and at least thirty plays, Marcel's work ...more

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Gao Xingjian is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Gao Xingjian age 78 Gao Xingjian is a Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and ...more

39
Gaston Arman de Caillavet is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Gaston Arman de Caillavet Died at 46 (1869-1915) Gaston Arman de Caillavet was a French playwright. He was the son of Albert Arman de Caillavet and Léontine Lippmann, the muse of Anatole France. In April 1893 he married Jeanne Pouquet. ...more

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Gaston Baty is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Gaston Baty Died at 67 (1885-1952) Gaston Baty, whose full name was Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Gaston Baty, was a French playwright and director. His stage adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary was presented in an English ...more

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Georges Feydeau is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Georges Feydeau Died at 59 (1862-1921) Georges Feydeau was a French playwright of the era known as the Belle Époque. He is remembered for his many lively farces. He wrote over sixty plays and was a forerunner of absurdist

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Guillaume Apollinaire is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Guillaume Apollinaire Died at 38 (1880-1918) Guillaume Apollinaire, born Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic of Polish descent. Apollinaire is ...more

43
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Gustave Flaubert Died at 59 (1821-1880) Gustave Flaubert was an influential French writer who was perhaps the leading exponent of literary realism of his country. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary, ...more

44
Hector-Jonathan Crémieux is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Hector-Jonathan Crémieux Died at 64 (1828-1892) Hector-Jonathan Crémieux was a French librettist and playwright. His best-known work is his collaboration with Ludovic Halévy for Jacques Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers, ...more

45
Henri Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Henri Bernstein Died at 77 (1876-1953) Henri-Léon-Gustave-Charles Bernstein was a French playwright associated with Boulevard theatre. The far-right royalist Camelots du Roi youth organization of the Action française ...more

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Honoré de Balzac is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Honoré de Balzac Died at 51 (1799-1850) Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a ...more

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Jacques Deval is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Jacques Deval Died at 77 (1895-1972) Jacques Deval was a screenwriter.

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Jean Anouilh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Jean Anouilh Died at 77 (1910-1987) Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. Though his work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1943 play ...more

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Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Jean Cocteau Died at 74 (1889-1963) Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, and the films Blood ...more

50
Jean Genet is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Playwrights from France
Jean Genet Died at 76 (1910-1986) Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include ...more