The actor, who died at the age of 88, was an icon of the Nouvelle Vague thanks to ‘At the end of the getaway’ and the face of a popular cinema that made him the most beloved interpreter in his country
The impact of Jean-Paul Belmondo’s death in France can be seen in
President Emmanuel Macron’s tweet dedicated to his memory: «He will forever remain The Magnificent. Jean-Paul Belmondo was a national treasure, full of panache and outbursts of laughter, with the verb aloud and a swift body, a sublime hero and familiar figure, a tireless daredevil and a wizard of words. We all find ourselves in it ». Belmondo, who died this Monday at his home at the age of 88, was the epitome of the French, the most beloved and international actor in a cinematography in which he starred in more than 80 films. According to his lawyer, Michel Godest, to the AFP agency: “I had been very tired for a long time. It has quietly turned off. From an icon of the Nouvelle Vague he became the face of a popular cinema that gave him the status of a myth in his country. In 2003, at age 70, he became a father for the fourth time despite the consequences of a heart attack suffered two years ago. Always tough, always nice, almost immortal.
Belmondo knew how to bring all the characters to their land, giving them credibility based on their own personality. Born in 1933 in Paris, the son of a well-known sculptor and a painter who took him as a model for her canvases, his Bohemian family with Sicilian and Piedmontese blood encouraged him to study at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art. His brother Alain was a film producer and his sister Muriel, a professional dancer. His fondness for boxing resulted in a broken nose that forever marked an ideal face to embody good-hearted scoundrels. At the age of 26, one of the ‘young Turks’ from the ‘Cahiers du Cinéma’ magazine probes him to play the protagonist of a film that encapsulates the admiration that this group of cinephilia sufferers feel for the black genre and for American directors such as Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray, olympically ignored by critics until then. Godard and Belmondo have worked on a short film before. The director met him on the street and was fascinated by his appearance. “At first I doubted his intentions,” the actor acknowledged on occasion.