Acting star Jean-Paul Belmondo has died at the age of 88. In his career he made over 80 films.
the essentials in brief
- Jean-Paul Belmondo died at the age of 88.
- Belmondo was one of the greatest faces of the French Nouvelle Vague.
The acting legend Jean-Paul Belmondo is dead: The star of the French cinema died on Monday at the age of 88 in Paris, as his family announced.
The actor made more than 80 films over the course of his career. Belmondo was a figurehead of Nouvelle Vague cinema in the 1960s, but also starred in numerous comedy and action films during its long career.
«Jean-Paul died today. He’s gone to meet up with his old accomplices from the Conservatory. His honest smile will always be there, ”said a statement published by Belmondo’s family. President Emmanuel Macron praised Belmondo as a “national treasure”: “We all found ourselves in him,” he wrote on Twitter.
Known in France under the nickname “Bébel”, the actor began his career in the theater, then switched to film and quickly became a crowd puller in France.
He made his breakthrough alongside Jean Seberg in the role of a petty criminal in “Out of Breath” (1961) by Jean-Luc Godard. The film delighted critics and viewers around the world and is now a classic in film history. As a result, famous directors such as Jean-Pierre Melville, François Truffaut and Louis Malle tore the actor.
Man of charm
The man with the boxer nose and irresistible charm was, alongside Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot, one of the last great film stars of his generation. The daredevil himself did many of his stunts in spectacular action films such as “Der Greifer” and “Ein Verrer Typ”.
Some of his biggest box office hits were Philippe De Broca’s “Adventure in Rio” (1964), Georges Lautner’s “The Professional” (1981) and Gérard Oury’s “The Ace of Aces” (1982). For “The Lion” (1988) he was awarded the important French film prize César. In the course of his career he played alongside famous actors such as Catherine Deneuve and Claudia Cardinale.
A role model for many actors
For many of his younger colleagues, Belmondo was an absolute role model until his death. The actor Jean Dujardin described him as “one of the last heroes” of French cinema. His role in “Adventure in Rio” even inspired US director Steven Spielberg to write “Indiana Jones”.
Belmondo was born on April 9, 1933 in the posh Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. His father was the well-known Sicilian sculptor Paul Belmondo, his mother was a painter. The actor had four children from two relationships, most recently becoming a father at the age of 70.
He had been physically weakened since a stroke in 2001 and lived almost completely withdrawn from the public. In 2016 he was awarded the Golden Lion in Venice for his life’s work. “He has been very tired for some time,” said his lawyer on Monday. “He died quietly.”
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