Jean-Paul Charles Belmondo (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃pɔl ʃaʁl bɛlmɔ̃do]; 9 April 1933 – 6 September 2021) was a French actor, initially associated with the New Wave of the 1960s and a major French film star for several decades from the 1960s. His best known credits include Breathless (1960), That Man from Rio (1964), Pierrot le Fou (1965), Borsalino (1970), and The Professional (1981). He was most notable for portraying police officers in action thriller films and became known for his unwillingness to appear in English-language films, despite being heavily courted by Hollywood. Undisputed box-office champion like Louis de Funès and Alain Delon at the same time, Belmondo attracted nearly 160 million spectators in his 50-year career. Between 1969 and 1982, he played four times in the most popular films of the year in France: The Brain (1969), Fear Over the City (1975), Animal (1977), Ace of Aces (1982), being surpassed on this point only by Louis de Funès.During his career, he was called the French counterpart of actors such as James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Humphrey Bogart. Described as an icon and national treasure of France, Belmondo was seen as an influential actor of French cinema and an important figure in shaping European cinema. As Guardian columnist Kim Willsher stated, "The French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo spent almost an entire film – the 1960s classic À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) – with a Gauloise dangling from his lips."In 1989, Belmondo won the César Award for Best Actor for his performance in Itinéraire d'un enfant gâté. He was nominated for two BAFTA Awards throughout his career. In 2011 and then in 2017, he received a lifetime achievement honor: the Palme d'honneur during the Cannes Film Festival and a César d'honneur 42nd César Awards.
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