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French actor and “Breathless” star, Jean-Paul Belmondo, has died at the age of 88. His death was confirmed by his lawyer Michel Godest’s office on Sept. 6, 2021.
The French native was born on April 9, 1933, in Seine, France. His father was the renowned sculptor Paul Belmondo. Growing up he enjoyed playing soccer and boxing. He was a goal-keeper in soccer during his school years.
He studied at Conservatoire National Superieur d’Art Dramatique — located in Paris, France. He minored in stage performance and made his first debuted in “À pied, à cheval et en voiture.”
The role that grabbed everyone’s attention was in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 film “Breathless.” His performance made him one of the key figures in the French New Wave. In the mid-1960s Belmondo switched to commercial mainstream pictures. He quickly became a big action and comedy star in France.
His role in “Itinéraire d’un enfant gâté” earned him a Cesar in 1989. However, he refused the award due to the sculptor, César Baldaccini, previously shared bad opinions about his father. Belmondo was the father of four children. However, his eldest daughter, Patricia, died in a fire in 1993. He also has a daughter named Stella, another daughter, Florence, and a son named Paul.
Belmondo performed all of his own stunts until an accident happened during the filming of the 1985 movie “Hold-Up.”
In August 2001, the actor suffered a stroke when he was in Corsica. It left the right side of his face paralyzed. He was transferred to a hospital in Paris and was released from intensive care six days later.
He partnered with two brothers in an Italian restaurant named Stressa — located on rue Chambiges just behind the Plaza Athena Hole in Paris.
Many people took to social media to pay tribute to the late French actor. Antonio Banderas tweeted, “This is a sad day for culture. A great actor and an icon of French and European cinema has left us. Repose en paix Jean-Paul #Belmondo.”
May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The New York Times: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Magnetic Star of the French New Wave, Dies at 88; by Rick Lyman
IMDb: Jean-Paul Belmondo
Inset Image Courtesy of bwise’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License