Jean-Paul Belmundo, one of the most revered French actors died Monday. His death was confirmed by his lawyer Michel Godest who did not reveal the cause of death. Belmundo had idolized the embodiment of youthful disaffection in the French New Wave, most particularly in his classic performance as a pragmatic killer in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless.” He was most noticeable for his boxer’s nose and cynical outlook.
In the sixties, Belmondo built his status playing tough roles, unemotional, even rebellious, and selfish characters totally at odds with the acceptable norms set forth by the French upper class. Later in his career, he earned his reputation as France’s leading stars, taking “more crowd-pleasing roles, but without entirely surrendering his magnetic brashness,” said Rick Lyman of the New York Times. He was 88.
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