Monday, June 17, 2024

RIP Jean Paul Belmondo, 88, Star of the French New Wave, Broke Through with “Breathless” and “Man in Rio”


Jean Paul Belmondo, the biggest thing to come out of France since fromage, has died at age 88. The famed actor has his breakthrough role in Jean Luc Godard’s “Breathless” in 1960 and never looked back. He became a superstar of the French new wave and international cinema.

Belmondo starred in action films, comedies, rom coms and worked like crazy in the early to mid 60s. He is said to have wanted to come to Hollywood but never learned English and remained a French and international star. He worked several times with Godard, and with every famous French director including Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, and Francois Truffaut.

Belmondo’s last film was around the year 2000, but by then he had become a successful producer as well. He was married three times, had many famous lovers, and during the height of his fame had a seven year relationship with Ursula Andress (who had her own wild romantic life). His last child was born when he was 70 and in his second official marriage.

He won the Cesar, the French Oscar, in 1969, for Claude Lelouch’s “Itinerary of a Spoiled Child.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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