French actress Jeanne Moreau, star of Jules And Jim, dies at 89

French actress Jeanne Moreau, star of Jules And Jim, dies at 89

Paris-born, Moreau was a trained stage actress and member of the Comedie Francaise before receiving critical attention for a pair of 1958 films, both directed by Louis Malle - Elevator to the Gallows and The Lover - before capturing global acclaim for her role in Truffaut's Jules et Jim.

In 1960, she won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival for Peter Brook's Seven Days.

Moreau began her career in the late 1950s, and worked alongside some of the world's most acclaimed directors, including Louis Malle, Francois Truffaut and Orson Welles. As the magnetic and impulsive Catherine, Moreau is the force at the center of Truffaut's celebrated New Wave classic and the focal point of its Bohemian menage a trois tragedy. The film included a lengthy love scene in which Ms. Moreau, playing a bored housewife having an affair, enacted a clearly orgasmic moment, considered scandalous at the time. "I have most likely my identity". Those parents were understandably incensed when they came to pick her up, but Jeanne couldn't have cared less.

In the '70s, Roger Ebert called her "the greatest movie actress of the last 20 years". The actress, who was presumably reminded of her past work in countless interviews and fan interactions, took a rather hard stance on nostalgia of any kind in her later years.

More news: Two militants killed in Kashmir encounter

Today, no one bats a heavy-lidded eye at the idea of Jeanne Moreau - who died Monday at age 89 - as one of the world's great beauties. Despite her character's name being absent from the film's title, it was Moreau's picture which was used to market the film.

Moreau was married twice, once to writer-director Jean-Louis Richard and once to director William Friedkin. Her philosophy, she once told me, was "Don't run away from fame, use it". Jeanne was the only female invited, and when we were seated at the far end of the long table, far from Tony, she started fuming, chain-smoking instead of eating and wondering why she was invited at all. "Nine years of bad films - it was a cinematic adolescence", she said in 1965.

The Guardian wrote that Moreau almost played the iconic role of Mrs. Robinson in 1967's "The Graduate" opposite Dustin Hoffman, but she turned down the role.

But it was 1962's "Jules et Jim" that made Moreau an global star and gave her the freedom to play within the kind of contradictory natures still seldom granted female performers.

Related Articles