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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 9, 1933 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: France Profession: actor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

For generations of French filmgoers and lovers of international cinema, few actors defined the Gallic male on screen more succinctly than Jean-Paul Belmondo. Though rugged and unconventionally handsome, Belmondo's innate charm and physicality captured the world's attention with his turn as a doomed small-time crook in Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960), one of the vanguards of the French New Wave. The film's global popularity minted him as an icon of cinematic cool, an image he would underscore for the next four decades in arthouse-minded projects like Godard's "Pierrot le Fou" (1965) and Francois Truffaut's "Mississippi Mermaid" (1969). At the same time, he proved himself as a capable and highly athletic action star, often providing his own daring stunts in "That Man from Rio" (1964), "Borsalino" (1970) and "The Professional" (1981). He returned to stage work and more sedate fare in the late 1980s and '90s, earning a Cesar for "Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté" (1988) and high praise for a modern-day take on "Les Misérables" (1995) before suffering a paralyzing stroke. Though physically limited, he returned to features in 2008 for the melancholy "A Man and His Dog" (2008). Though no longer the robust,...

For generations of French filmgoers and lovers of international cinema, few actors defined the Gallic male on screen more succinctly than Jean-Paul Belmondo. Though rugged and unconventionally handsome, Belmondo's innate charm and physicality captured the world's attention with his turn as a doomed small-time crook in Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960), one of the vanguards of the French New Wave. The film's global popularity minted him as an icon of cinematic cool, an image he would underscore for the next four decades in arthouse-minded projects like Godard's "Pierrot le Fou" (1965) and Francois Truffaut's "Mississippi Mermaid" (1969). At the same time, he proved himself as a capable and highly athletic action star, often providing his own daring stunts in "That Man from Rio" (1964), "Borsalino" (1970) and "The Professional" (1981). He returned to stage work and more sedate fare in the late 1980s and '90s, earning a Cesar for "Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté" (1988) and high praise for a modern-day take on "Les Misérables" (1995) before suffering a paralyzing stroke. Though physically limited, he returned to features in 2008 for the melancholy "A Man and His Dog" (2008). Though no longer the robust, roguish figure of his youth, Belmondo's inherent strength and spirit remained intact, providing an inspiring reminder of why he remained a French national treasure for nearly half a century.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Les Acteurs (2000) Himself
3.
 Amazone (2000) Edouard
4.
 Peut-etre (1998) Ako
5.
 Une Chance sur Deux (1998) Leo Brassac
6.
 Les Miserables (1995)
7.
 One Hundred and One Nights (1995) Actor For A Day
8.
 Les Miserables (1995) Henry Fortin/Jean Valjean
9.
 Desire (1995) Desire
10.
 Inconnu dans la Maison, L' (1992) Loursat
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Founded touring company with Annie Girardot and Guy Bedos
1955:
Short film acting debut in "Moliere"
1956:
Appeared on Paris stage in "L'Hotel du libre echange"
1957:
Feature debut in "A Pied, a cheval et en voiture"
1958:
First appearance in a Jean-Luc Godard film, the short "Charlotte et son Jules"; voice dubbed by Godard
1958:
First leading stage role, "Oscar"
1959:
Gained international attention starring as petty thief Michel Poiccard in Godard's "Breathless/A bout de souffle"
1962:
Appeared briefly (during a boxing match) in Francois Reichenbach's feature-length documentary "Un coeur gros comme ca"
1963:
Elected president of French actor's union
1963:
Published autobiography "30 Years and 25 Films"
1965:
Starred in Godard's "Pierrot le fou"
1966:
English-language debut, "Is Paris Burning?"
1982:
First feature as producer, "L'As des as/Ace of Aces"
1987:
Returned to the Paris stage in Robert Hossein's staging of Dumas' "Kean"
1990:
Starred in and produced "Cyrano de Bergerac" in Paris and on tour for two seasons
1991:
Purchased the Theatre des Varietes in Paris, reputedly the city's oldest playhouse built in 1807
1995:
Starred in Claude Lelouch's "Les Miserables"
1996:
Launched scathing attack on Hollywood distribution usurping home-grown product when his film, "Desire", was only booked on 20 French screens
2000:
Had first TV role in over forty years in the French miniseries "L'aine des Ferchaux", a remake of the film in which he starred in 1963
2001:
Acted in French TV adaptation of "Lion"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

College Pascal: -
Paris Conservatoire: - 1953 - 1956

Notes

Belmondo's name was in the headlines in Hollywood in April 1996, when he lashed out at the Hollywood studios and distributors. The actor was furious that his film "Desire" was on only 20 screen in France while American films, such as "Toy Story", were on 500. He claimed that French theatre chains were "on their knees before Hollywood. When I hear them talk about defending French cinema, I can only laugh." (The American market share of movie ticket sales in France was 54 percent at the time, compared to only 35 percent for French-made product.)

He reportedly suffered a stroke while on vacation in Corsica in August 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elodie Belmondo. Ballerina. Married in 1952; divorced in 1967.
companion:
Ursula Andress. Actor.
companion:
Laura Antonelli. Actor.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Paul Belmondo. Sculptor.
daughter:
Patricia Belmondo. Died in a fire in 1994.
daughter:
Florence Belmondo. Born 1960.
son:
Paul Belmondo. Grand Prix race car driver. Born c. 1963.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Trente ans et vingt-cinq films"

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