Jean-Paul Belmondo, The Face Of French New Wave Film, Dies At 88.
Jean-Paul Belmondo, the French movie actor best known for his breakout role in the New Wave masterpiece Breathless, has died at the age of 88.
On Twitter, French Emmanuel Macron lamented the death of a man he described as “a national treasure.” “He will be Le Magnifique,” Macron tweeted, referring to a comedic espionage comedy from 1973 that was just one of a long line of star performances in a six-decade career.
Belmondo’s death was confirmed by his lawyer, Michel Goddess, to the French news agency Agence France-Presse on Monday at his Paris residence. “He’d been exhausted for quite some time. He passed away quietly “Goddess observed.
Belmondo was often likened to fellow leading men Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, and James Dean by reviewers because of his rugged features, charming grin, and ever-present cigarette. He was a renegade strong man with a heart of gold — and an easy cool.
Belmondo, who was born outside of Paris in 1933 to artistic parents, was athletic as a child and trained to be a boxer. As a youngster, he became interested in performing and was accepted into France’s national theatre high school.
In the 1950s, Belmondo began booking parts in short and feature films. In 1960, Jean-Luc Godard placed the young actor with American actress Jean Seberg in the movie Breathless, in which he played a criminal.
Michel, played by Belmondo, is a petty criminal who steals a vehicle and kills a police officer in the film.
He subsequently escapes to Paris, where he hides out with Patricia Seberg while planning his escape to Italy.
He became the face of the French New Wave, an experimental movement that transformed world cinema.
due to the film’s massive success both inside and outside of France.
“The key to Belmondo’s popularity in the 1960s was that everyone needed him for one reason or another.
and he had the aura of a person who was soon tired of any demands.
but also available to show his greatest self if you really needed it,” said film critic Dan Callahan in a tribute to Belmondo on Monday.
Belmondo rebuffed Hollywood’s attempts to persuade him to come to America, asking, “Why should I make my life more difficult? I’m too dumb to learn the language.
and it would be disastrous if I did “The New York Times reports on this.
He didn’t appear to suffer any business consequences as a result of his choice. In France, he remained a big celebrity.
appearing in popular comedies and action pictures in the 1970s and 1980s with screen icons Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve.
He was well-known for insisting on doing the majority of his own stunts.
He continued to appear on film far into the twenty-first century, until a stroke immobilized one side of his body in 2001, leaving him unable to talk for half a year.
In 2008, he returned to appear in one last film, A Man and His Dog, after his recovery. When he was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the César awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars.
he got a nearly two-minute standing ovation.
On Monday, Edgar Wright, the director of films such as Last Night In Soho and Baby Driver, tweeted, “Jean-Paul Belmondo has died away and cinema will never be quite as cool again.”