Simon Abkarian was born Simone Abkarian on March 5, 1962, in Gonesse, a northeastern suburb of Paris, France, into a French – Armenian family. From 1971 to 1977 young Abkarian lived with his mother and father in Lebanon. There he attended Armenian school and also studied French and English. In 1977 Abkarian moved back to Paris. A few years later he moved to New York and continued his studies of dancing and acting at the Antranik company in New York, then moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1983-1985 he studied acting and joined the Armenian Theatre Company Artavadzt of the AGBU under the leadership of director Gerald Papazian. In 1984, he joined the workshop at renown Theatre du Soleil on tour in Los Angeles during the Olympics Art Festival. In 1985 Abkarian returned to Paris, France. There he resumed a successful stage acting career, and had an eight-year-long collaboration with Ariane Mnouchkine, the legendary director of Théâtre du Soleil. He also directed several stage plays in Paris. In 2001 Abkarian won the highest award in French theatre for an actor – the Prix Molière, for his performance in ‘Une Bête Sur La Lune’ (aka.. Beast on the Moon). Since 1993, Abkarian and his actress-director wife, Catherine Schaub, started their own theatre T.E.R.A. (Theatre Espace Recherche Acteur) in Paris. There he has been playing and directing classical and contemporary plays. Abkarian made his film debut in 1989. During his early film career, Abkarian enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with Cédric Klapisch in 6 French films, becoming noticed in the award winning Chacun cherche son chat (1996). He earned critical acclaim for his portrayal of painter Archil Gorky in Atom Egoyan’s award winning epic Ararat (2002). Simon Abkarian won awards for his performance as Eliahou in ‘To Take a Wife (2004) by director Ronit Elkabetz. He made a step forward in his film career with the supporting role as Alex Dimitros in Casino Royale (2006), playing in several powerful scenes opposite Daniel Craig. Simon Abkarian has been generously involved in the humanitarian causes of the Armenian people across the world. He has been a frequent participant, host and presenter at numerous charitable events and ceremonies related to the Armenian causes. He was also a member of French President Jacque Chirac’s delegation to Armenia in October of 2006.