Who does not remember the young first in Godard’s films, “Breathless” and “Pierrot le fou”, his sarcastic partnership with Bourvil in “The brain”, or “The man from Rio” in which he hovered over Venice, hanging from a helicopter.
For many years, he dazzled the youth of the whole world and made successive generations dream with prowess and devastating humor. The actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, died yesterday in his home in Paris, at the age of 88. Sacred monster of French cinema, he left his mark on the glorious page of the seventh art, excelling in no less than 80 films, with unforgettable roles each time. Who does not remember the young first in the films of Jean-Luc Godard, “Breathless” and “Pierrot le fou”, of his sarcastic partnership with Bourvil and David Niven in “The brain”, of his sparkling duet with Jean Gabin in “A monkey in winter” or even in “The man from Rio” in which he was flying over Venice, hanging from a helicopter? Known for adoring doing the stunts himself, heroic daredevil and eternal youth, he has often hit the headlines, indifferent to anything that could label him as an indecipherable provocateur while he never hesitated to show others facets of his character, behind the curtain of fame. “He died quietly” said his lawyer who confirmed that the actor “had been very tired for some time”. Bébel, as he was always nicknamed, went away in this cruel period of the pandemic but his smirk and a little provocative will be remembered for a long time as well as his unalterable good humor, barely touched by the tempestuous rivalry that existed between he and Alain Delon, on set as well as off-screen. At the Césars ceremony in 2017, he was entitled to a legitimate standing ovation for his entire career and for such an exceptional career. Jean-Paul Belmondo, the Magnificent (title of one of his films) is gone but, in all the dark rooms of the whole world, his recognizable silhouette among a thousand, will remain eternally present, with the emotion and the laughter that forever marked him.