“Bébel” has passed away. He leaves behind an extraordinary career and a rich and unique filmography.
He was The Man from Rio, The Ace of As, The Professional, The Magnificent … Jean-Paul Belmondo died this Monday, September 6, 2021 at the age of 88. If the precise causes of his death are not yet known, “Bébel” succumbed to a stroke in 2001 and never fully recovered.
– Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) September 6, 2021
Over half a century of an absolutely unique career, the son of sculptor Paul Belmondo has forever marked the history of French cinema.
A boxer in the making, Belmondo, a titi Parisian born in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1933, radically changed course in 1952, when he joined the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, alongside Jean Rochefort and Jean-Pierre Marielle. Passed by the boards, he won his first roles in the cinema in 1958, in The cheaters by Marcel Carné and especially in A funny sunday, alongside Bourvil. His performance catches the eye of young Jean-Luc Godard. After a short film (Charlotte and her jules) in the form of a test, the New Wave filmmaker hired Belmondo on his return from Algeria to Breathless (1960), the film that will turn his life upside down. Now a star of the big screen, he went on to perform roles and became a star of French action films, in the heart of the 1970s and 1980s.
Jean-Paul Belmondo is 85 years old: his cult interview for Premiere of 1995
He will shoot his last film in 2008, A man and his dog, edited by Francis Huster. Jean-Paul Belmondo should have done a final lap at Fabien Onteniente, in the road movie Hat trick. But filming has finally been canceled in recent years. The last striking appearance of “Bébel” will therefore remain the moving standing ovation reserved for him by the profession, by presenting him with a highly symbolic Honorary Cesar, in 2017.