Tahar Rahim was born on July 4th in Belfort, France as the son of Algerian immigrants.
After two years of studying sports and information technology in Straßburg and Marseille, he transferred to study film in Montpellier. During that time, he became the subject of the TV documentary "Tahar l'étudiant" (F 2005), which portrayed his everyday life. From 2005 on, Rahim studied at the "Laboratoire de l'Acteur" in Paris.
Following his first appearances in feature films, he became a regular cast member of the popular TV show "La commune" (2007), which depicts the harsh life in a French housing district. Although Rahim was already 26-years-old, he played a 15-year-old who falls in with the wrong crowd.
His first major screen role also marked his breakthrough: In the multi-award winning crime drama "Un prophète" ("A Prophet", F/IT 2009), Rahim plays a petty thief who eventually becomes a mighty gang boss during his term in prison. His performance garnered him a European Film Award, and he also was the first actor to ever win two Césars for one role, taking home the trophies for Best Actor and Best Newcomer.
After turns in the historical epic "The Eagle" (UK/USA/HU 2011) and Jean-Jacques Annaud's period drama "Black Gold" (F/IT/QA/TN 2011), Rahim got rave reviews for his portrayal of a husband whose wife is in a coma in "Le Passé" ("The Past", F/IT 2013). After lead roles in "Grand Central" (AT/F 2013) and the thriller "Gibraltar" (F/CND 2013), Rahim starred in the international co-production "The Cut" (2014) which was directed by Fatih Akin. Set in 1915, the film has Rahim playing an Armenian who survives a massacre by the Turkish gendarmerie and sets out on a search for his children.