France. French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, Icon of Nouvelle Vague, dies

Paris, 6 September. (dpa/EP) –

French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, one of the symbols of the Nouvelle Vague band, has died at the age of 88, according to several French media outlets.

Belmondo, who fascinated the greatest masters of French filmmaking – Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Sauté, François Truffaut and Philippe de Broca – made cinematic history with films such as “At the End of the Getaway” or “River Man”.

He is credited with having over 80 films for posterity, a portrait of a gentleman with a wide grin and a wrinkled boxer’s face.

With “At the End of the Getaway” in 1959, Jean-Luc Godard turned 26-year-old Belmondo into an overnight star. The Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) film movement, which successfully turned its back on commercial cinema, especially around the 1960s, set new cinematic standards with an unconventional narrative structure.

The film became a masterpiece and Belmondo became the main character of film rebels, including Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Eric Romer.

Claude Sautet, Jean-Pierre Melville, François Truffaut, and Jacques Deray were the next filmmakers who worked with him. His eternal rival was Alain Delon, although he did not reach Belmondo’s comedic talent. Belmondo’s last film was Un homme et son chien (Man and his Dog) directed by Francis Hoster in 2009.

And when the cinema turned its back on him, he returned to his theatrical beginnings. In 1991 he finally bought his own theater in Paris, fulfilling his childhood dream. Belmondo has appeared in more than 40 theatrical roles.

In November 1999 he had a heart attack in Brest, western France, and a heart attack in August 2001 in Corsica. His four children come from relationships with dancers Elodie Constantin and Nathalie Tardivel. His relationship with Barbara Gandolfi, who was about 40 years his junior, ended in 2012 after four years of separation.

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