Fanny grew up in Monte Carlo and completed her school level education at a convent school there. She was a prodigious reader and used to spend most of her time in reading.
She was just 17 years old when her father died and that shock that she got always haunted her. Briefly before his father’s death, Ardant began acting on stage. However, following her father's demise, she decided to follow his father’s advice and enrolled at the university in Aix-en-Provence where she studied Political Science. After the completion of her graduation, she got employed at the French embassy in London, UK but she was sacked from her job citing poor time keeping and also being untidy.
Ardant though stayed in London and took up odd jobs for her livelihood in London before deciding, almost on an impulse to join the drama school. She relocated to France for her studies and it didn’t take her long to start acting on stage and then advanced to the television. She was signed by Francois Truffaut at the age of 31, who had seen her performing in a television series and immediately decided to cast her in his film called The Woman Next Door in 1981. The film received rave reviews and was a huge box-office smash. Her films like Confidentially Yours and 8 Women need a special mention.