Jean-Paul Belmondo, a star of France’s New Wave cinema after his breakthrough performance in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” in 1959, has died. He was 88.
A charismatic actor who often performed his own stunts, Belmondo switched in the 1960s to mainstream films and became one of France’s leading comedy and action heroes.
B elmondo was born on April 9, 1933, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, the son of the renowned sculptor Paul Belmondo and painter Sarah Rainaud-Richard. Despite his cultured background, he appeared more drawn to the world of sport than the arts and was a keen boxer in his youth.
Once he had discovered acting, it took three attempts before the Paris Conservatory agreed in 1952 to take him on as a student. Even then it was not a smooth passage, and Belmondo quit in a huff in 1956 after receiving a cool reception for one of his performances from a conservatory jury.
One of his teachers predicted at the time: “Mr. Belmondo will never succeed with his hooligan’s face”.
Belmondo’s reply was an obscene gesture. He went on to star in more than 80 movies, many of them blockbusters, over the next half a century.
Being afraid is the worst sin there is.
I would say I’ve done everything I wanted to.
Preparing for a stunt is like training for a sporting event.
I may not be a pin-up, but I’m one hell of a boxer.
Go your own way. Do what you want. Everyone plays his own game
Women over thirty are at their best, but men over thirty are too old to recognize it
The big French movie distributors are the Trojan horse of the American cinema.
I’ve always liked to keep trim, and fortunately, I don’t put on weight easily.
For me the reasons of heart are more important than the arguments of reason
Lady is a woman who knows what she should not know, though she knows it
The actors I admired were Bogart, Cagney, Cooper, Tracy. Great personalities. Real stars.
“When an actor is successful, people turn their back on him and say that he has taken the easy way out, that he doesn’t want to make an effort or take any risks”
Quotes About Belmondo
People know that I have a great love for cinema. Not just for commercial cinema, but for the ‘cinema d’auteur.’ But to me, two of the great ‘auteurs’ are actually actors and they both happen to be French. One is Alain Delon and the other is Jean-Paul Belmondo.( Harvey Weinstein)
The first guy I really liked and was kind of obsessed with and had to seek out and find more of his films was Jean-Paul Belmondo. He was the main guy that I was obsessed with.( Simon Baker)