Jean-Paul Belmondo 2001, Source: Georges Biard

Jean-Paul Belmondo


Source: Georges Biar

Jean-Paul Belmondo  – Even with 80 “Breathless”

French cinema legend Jean-Paul Belmondo, recently celebrated his 80th Birthday; an international star, not only in France but also in the whole world.
But before him, the Dean of the Comédie Française had already predicted early “With her looks he’ll make it in this profession never far!” And the young Belmondo himself knew he was not a classic hero with his “face” for the film questioned. But later, just his atypical appearance combined with great coolness and rebellious appearance as his bravado predestined him to catapult as requested modern type in the front rank of actresses shaft. Advantage of him was beyond his athletic body toughened by years of box training as well as his always suns browned outfit. But also the female gender he was able to inspire with his humorous, stunning charm. Thus, at that time the most attractive actresses in numerous feature films to him victims, such as Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Françoise Dorléac or even something like the super cooled Catherine Deneuve.

Grew up as the son of a sculptor and a dancer in the Paris suburb of Neuilly, Belmondo had early found his love for acting and was also repeatedly stood on the stage and played in a few minor films. But only when 26 years old the great director Jean-Luc Godard gave him 1959 the main role in the film “Out of breath”, which was received as a masterpiece of the Nouvelle Vague in cinema history. Here is how he could, as he said later, for the first time unfold and embody the survivor in such excellent form that he became the face of this new film era. Thus the great French directors Louis Malle, Francois Truffaut and Claude Lelouche tore themselves in the sixties to the young leaders of the rebellion cinema in tight jeans and short leather jacket, who became in his inimitable way for personalized prototype of this era

In the seventies, he moved on to the subject of the action movies in which he tended between cunning criminal and a rock hard investigator, so as among films “Fear over the city”, “The Claw” or “The Coup”. Besides, he could renounce through his athletic advantages in most cases stunts and took the daring roles himself. Only when he suffered in “The Boss” a severe head injury, he stopped with these risky ventures.
Total came “Bebel” ,as he is affectionately called by his French compatriots, in his proud career at nearly 100 cinema films and inspired with his special personal style of daredevil, adventurer and heartbreaker the masses. Thus, he catapulted with about 130 million viewers in 50 years at the Zenith of the world cinema.
After his Breathlessness was only 2001 braked by a stroke in his activism and set for seven years out of action, he still played in age of 75 again in the remake of the classic “A Man and His Dog” ,in the role of a lonely old man on the floor, who is reading passages from Moby Dick to his faithful dog.

Despite the hard strokes of fate that he had to pocket last in life, as in the movie and not least by the recent separation from his 40 years younger girlfriend Barbara Gandolfi , the old warhorse is not defeated. Thus he announced already with his now 75 years old director Claude Lelouche, the film version of a nostalgic crook`s comedy called “Les Bandits manchots” to. The editors of the androgon men´s magazine wish a lot of success to this indestructible of a man!


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