Michael Vartan was born on 27th November 1968 in France, an only child. Michaels father, Eddie Vartan, was a French musician, whose ancestry was Armenian and Bulgarian on one side, and Hungarian Jewish on the other. Michaels mother, Doris Vartan (née Pucher), is a Polish Jewish immigrant to the United States. His aunt is singer Sylvie Vartan. His parents divorced when he was five (his mother later re-married to screenwriter Ian La Frenais. He spent his childhood shuttling between the tiny Normandy village of Fleury, France (where his father lived) and the United States (where his mother lived). At the age of eighteen, after deciding against joining the French military service (mandatory for all males above 18 in France), Michael shifted to the States. His mother encouraged him to take acting classes, and he enrolled in an acting school after being told by many people that he had the potential for it. He made his acting debut in the French film Un homme et deux femmes (1991) and followed that with another French film, Promenades dété (1992). It was with the Italian film Fiorile (1993), in which he played, ironically, a French soldier, that he made his international debut. Vartan, who was nominated for a French Caesar Award for Best Up-and-Coming Actor, played two characters in this fable of a curse that haunts a family through centuries. Of his performance, New York Post movie critic Mike Medved heralded the actor, saying, [Vartan] is so hugely effective that its hard to understand how he could have (so far) avoided discovery by Hollywood.