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Jul 31 2017
Jeanne Moreau, French Film Icon, Dies @ 89 Comments (0)

Jeanne_moreauVia The Guardian: Jeanne Moreau, the actress who became an icon of French cinema and in particular the French New Wave, has died at her home in Paris.

She was 89.

Keep reading for a full obit on this screen legend ...

031-jules-and-jim-theredlistJeanne Moreau: January 23, 1928-July 31, 2017 (Image via Cinédis)

Moreau debuted on the stage 70 years ago and became a powerhouse Comédie-Française actor before 92027268bd22002d7566b819a698b002--jacques-becker-jeanne-moreau making the jump, slowly, to the cinema.

Following her film debut, she gained attention in Meurtres? (1950) opposite Fernandel (1903-1971) under the direction of Richard Pottier (1906-1994) and with Jean Gabin (1904-1976) in Jacques Becker's (1906-1980) Touchez pas au grisbi/Grisbi (1954), a Venice Film Festival selection. [Pictured]

During the French New Wave, Moreau was the ultimate leading lady, typically playing effortlessly cool women, as in the hits Ascenseur pour l'échafaud/Elevator to the Gallows (1958), which was the first film by Louis Malle (1932-1995), as well as his racy Les Amants/The Lovers (1958), challenged as obscene in the U.S. for its depiction of adulterous sex.

She won top honors for her performance in Moderato cantabile/Seven Days ... Seven Nights (1960), directed by Peter Brook (b. 1925) at Cannes.

Most famously, Moreau was the lead in Jules et Jim/Jules and Jim (1962), the love-triangle romantic drama that is one of François Truffaut's (1932-1984) masterpieces and that became her biggest hit and signature film. The film won the 1962 Étoile de Cristal and she was named best actress. It is considered one of the finest films ever made, and contains a lovely example of one of her other talents — her singing.

Moreau-Jules-JimDon't miss a terrific interview with the designer of this iconic movie poster. (Cinédis)

She almost made even more movie history — she was offered the part of Mrs. Robinson 003-querelle-theredlist in The Graduate (1967) by director Mike Nichols (1931-2014) but said non.

I was first introduced to her when I saw her in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's (1945-1982) Querelle (1982), a favorite film of mine. [Pictured]

One of her greatest later-career performances came in The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea (1991), directed by Laurent Heynemann (b. 1948).

Throughout the '60s — and well into her eighties — Moreau worked with the biggest names in film, including Orson Welles (1915-1985), Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007), Luis Buñuel (1900-1983), Elia Kazan (1909-2003), Wim Wenders (b. 1945) and many others.

Watch Moreau surprise Madonna at 12:20

Along with acting, Moreau directed the films Lumière/Lumiere (1976) and L'adolescente/The Adolescent (1979).

Moreau was married three times, including a short spell (1977-1979) as American director William Friedkin's (b. 1935) wife, and had many legendary affairs, including with some of her directors (Malle, Truffaut), with designer Pierre Cardin (b. 1922), and director Tony Richardson (1928-1991), who left his wife Vanessa Redgrave (b. 1937) for her. 

Moreau was bosom buddies with Sharon Stone (b. 1958), who presented her with the 1998 AAMPAS life tribute.

Her final film work appears to have been in the minor film Le talent de mes amis (2015).