Belmondo, Jean-Paul

Belmondo, Jean-Paul

(zhäN-pōl bĕlmôNdō`), 1933–, French film actor, b. Neuilly-sur-Seine, studied Paris Conservatory. Belmondo made his film debut in 1957, but first gained fame in Breathless (1960), playing a restless, flippant young hoodlum. His particularly disengaged style appealed to young audiences of the day, making him France's most popular male film star throughout the 1960s. This antiheroic demeanor also made him one of the most important actors in the nouvelle vague (new wave) films of such filmmakers as Jean-Luc GodardGodard, Jean-Luc
, 1930–, French film director and scriptwriter, b. Paris. He wrote criticism for a number of Parisian cinema journals in the early 1950s before embarking on his filmmaking career. Godard is probably the most influential of the French New Wave directors.
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, François TruffautTruffaut, François
, 1932–84, French film director and critic. Known in his early 20s as a writer for the influential French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma,
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, and Louis MalleMalle, Louis
, 1932–95, French film director, b. Thumeries, France. Malle's motion pictures are noted for their nonjudgmental approach to often taboo material, for which he sought to cause the audience to reevaluate its attitudes.
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. In later years, Belmondo starred in an immensely popular series of action movies. His other films include Moderato Cantabile (1960), That Man from Rio (1964), Pierrot le Fou (1965), The Mississippi Mermaid (1968), Borsolino (1970), Stavisky (1974), and L'Animal (1977). Among his later films are Joyeuses Pâques (1984), L'Inconnu dans la maison (1992), Désiré (1996), Peut-être (1999), and Amazon (2000). In the 1960s, Belmondo founded his own film company, and in 1990 he established another, Annabel Productions.