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She Played Claire in "Mission: Impossible." See Emmanuelle Béart Now at 59.

American audiences know the French star best for her role in the 1996 action movie.

The Mission: Impossible movie franchise kicked off in 1996, and there have since been five more movies released with at least two more on the way. And while Tom Cruise has returned as Ethan Hunt for every installment of the series, it was the only spy movie outing for his co-star in the original film, Emmanuelle Béart. Béart played Claire in Mission: Impossible, and while it might be the role for which American audiences know her best, in France, she's a major movie star, who has been nominated for numerous awards.

She also usually appears in much smaller movies than the first feature film adaptation of the '60s TV series. Béart, now 59, has a passion for French cinema and working with up-and-coming directors, and she's still busy as an actor today. She also recently turned heads with her look on the red carpet at France's own Cannes Film Festival. Read on to find out more about Béart's life now, 27 years after starring opposite Cruise.

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She has fond memories of Mission: Impossible.

Béart looked back at her time working on Mission: Impossible while appearing on 50 Minutes Inside (via Elle France) in 2020.

"It's my American adventure," she said. "It's a game for me. I'm someone who is more into auteur cinema in France, and, suddenly, I'm being offered this completely crazy thing."

She added that she enjoyed working with Cruise. "I found him quite fascinating as an actor, extremely professional and generous. I would like to see him again, he is a good person."

Béart also spoke about making Mission: Impossible in an interview for Nespresso and shared how different it was from her usual work. "Mission: Impossible was, for me, a playful experience," she said. "In addition to the cinematographic world, I discovered another planet into which I could integrate myself without having necessarily aspired to do so in my life as a woman and actress."

She's earned numerous accolades in France.

Emmanuelle Béart at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Béart is best known in the U.S. for Mission: Impossible, but for her French fans, there are many other roles that might come to mind first. Béart's breakout performance was in the 1986 movie Manon des Sources, for which she won the César Award (similar to an American Oscar) for Best Supporting Actress. She has been nominated for seven other César awards: two for Most Promising Actress prior to her win for Manon des Sources and five for Best Actress in movies that were released between 1989 and 2000.

Other significant projects include Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud (1995), Sentimental Destinies (2000), and 8 Women (2002). Most recently, she appeared in the 2020 movie Margaux Hartmann and the 2022 movie The Passengers of the Night, as well as the 2022 TV series Syndrome E.

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She made waves with a magazine cover.

Emmanuelle Béart at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In 2003, Béart appeared nude on the cover of French Elle. And while it wasn't the first cover of the magazine to feature nudity, it was an extremely popular one. According to The Guardian, the 550,000 copies that were printed sold out in three days. Béart spoke to The Guardian about the photoshoot during a 2007 interview.

"We'd just arrived for a beauty shoot, it was 5 a.m. and I desperately needed a swim," she said. "The photographer was a friend, and she asked if I'd mind if she took a few photos. When I saw them, it was me who suggested they use those. It was a riposte to all those skinny, semi-anorexic adolescents that women's magazines inflict on us; it was to say, 'Look, I'm 40, this is my body, this is my plenitude, these are my curves, I like them and I'm proud of them.' It's true, I feel better in my body now than when I was 20. Why not?"

She has three children.

Emmanuelle Béart at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

As for her personal life, Béart has been married twice and has three children. She was married to Daniel Auteuil—with whom she co-starred in several movies—from 1993 to 1995. During their relationship, they welcomed a child, Nelly Auteuil. Béart then had another child, Johan Moreau, in her relationship with music producer David François Moreau. In 2008, the actor married a second time to actor Michaël Cohen, and they separated in 2011. They also share a child, Surifel Cohen.

Béart does not often post about her kids on social media, but for Mother's Day in 2020, she shared photos of all of them when they were babies. "It's an everyday emotion to be the mother of my three little ones, probably the most beautiful thing I've done," She wrote in the caption. "I wish all mothers a beautiful #mothersday."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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