“All of France is sad, I am sad,” lawyer Michel Godest told BFMTV. This is how the death of Jean-Paul Belmondo was confirmed at the age of 88, considered a myth of French cinema and compared in the United States with Marlon Brando and James Dean. “I was very tired for some time. It was wonderful, but also terrible because I saw in him a friend that so many people wish they had and at the same time there was a monster inside him, a terrible character ”, added Godest.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that France had lost “a national treasure and family figure, a tireless daredevil and wizard of the word.” In the US, reviews dedicated to his impact on Hollywood cinema appeared, including on the day he joked about the public queuing to see him. “He professed unpretentious modesty, ignoring his success, but at his box office heyday in the 1960s, he was anything but modest. In an interview with film critic Rex Reed in 1966, he nearly scoffed at American fans queuing up to see his movies. ‘I don’t blame them,’ he said, smoking a cigar and stretching his long legs under a table at Harry’s Bar in Venice. ‘It’s worth standing in line to see,’ ”The New York Times recalled.
But Belmondo, born into a family of artists, was an amateur boxer before he became an actor. He won 15 of his 23 fights before entering acting. He made his film debut as Laszlo in the film Les Tricheurs (1958). “Like Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando and James Dean, three American actors who are frequently compared to him, Belmondo earned a reputation for playing tough, unsentimental, and even antisocial characters who were cut off from bourgeois society.”
Yesterday, Alain Delon, another of the great stars of French cinema, said he was “devastated”, but gave statements to the press. “It wouldn’t be bad if we both left together. It is a part of my life, we started together 60 years ago ”. The Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, who shared the script with him in Cartouche (1962) and El clan de los marseelleses (1972), paid tribute to him in this way: “It was and will continue to be for me, as for so many others, the image of the vitality. It will never cease to be in my heart and in my memory. It is a smile and a joy to live. Audacity and simplicity ”.
Postcards With his friend and colleague Alain Delon. Photo: broadcast
At the end of the getaway she was considered a legend. For his career, Belmondo received the Palm of Honor at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Lion at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and the César Academy Tribute at the 2017 French Film Awards. Before, In 1989, he received the César Award for Best Actor, but refused to accept it because the trophy had been designed by a famous artist (César Baldaccini) who had never recognized the work of his father, the sculptor Paul Belmondo.❖
In At the end of the getaway (1960), with Jean Seberg. Photo: broadcast
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