RIP Jean-Paul Belmondo

at age 88. Not sure he is known abroad, but here in Europe he was a pretty big star in the 60s-80s. As a kid I loved him in Cartouche, a pre-French-Revolution-adventure …

Later as an adult, I watched him in À bout de souffle/ Breathless by Godard.

I knew of him and knew he starred in some of the famous French auteur films, but I don’t remember seeing any. One of those, “I had no idea he was still alive” guys.

My favorite Belmondo performances (of the ones I’ve seen, which aren’t many):

Classe Tous Risque is one of the really great French crime pictures of the 60s, and Belmondo is excellent in a mainly supporting role.

Pierrot Le Fou is definitely my favorite of his perfomances, though. He’s amazing in it, and it’s easily my favorite Godard film.

RIP to the coolest new wave icon. I loved the first two Jean-Pierre Melville films he starred in, Le Doulos and Leon Morin, Priest, the latter showing a more reserved side that usually gets overshadowed by his innate alphaness. He was a surprisingly adept action star in the 1970s and insisted on performing his own stunts usually while sporting cuban heels with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

Farewell, Bebel. Big loss for anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s. If a Belmondo movie was aired, I sure as hell would watch it no matter what. Magnetic charisma, a very memorable face, and quite the range since he could effortly transition between comedy, auteur drama and gritty action. Movies like Le Professionnel would stick with you.

He may have been the coolest person ever to draw breath.

Sadly, he had to relinquish acting for nearly 30 years, having been struck very badly by a stroke, which left him very disabled.

I confess I only know him from Breathless, but that performance is immortal.

I was lucky enough to watch him on stage incarnate Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Lucky enough, but very young, as I don’t recall much of it.
I’m more live plays than movies, for some reason.

Belmondo was huge here and L’Animal is a film I have seen so many times…rest in peace maestro