Jeanne Moreau, French Screen Icon, Dead At 89

The French president called her a "legend of cinema."

French actress Jeanne Moreau has died at the age of 89 in Paris, outlets reported Monday.

Perhaps best known for thriving in the French New Wave cinema, Moreau portrayed an assertive woman in a love triangle between two men in Francois Truffaut’s 1962 classic “Jules and Jim.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said Moreau was “a legend of cinema and theater … an actress engaged in the whirlwind of life with an absolute freedom,” Variety reported.

Pierre Lescure, president of the Cannes Film Festival, said (per Variety): “She was strong and she didn’t like to see people pour their hearts out. Sorry, Jeanne, but this is beyond us. We are crying.”

With a smoky voice and femme fatale assertiveness, Moreau rose to prominence in an era when Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren held sway.

While trailblazing in powerful roles for women, Moreau still lamented the lack of them.

 “It’s the old cliche: Men are active, woman are passive,” she once said. “A woman provokes desire and torment. Tell me about a film where the woman drives it from beginning to end. I’d like to see it.”

Gerard Philipe and Jeanne Moreau in a scene from the film 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses', 1959. (Photo by Astor Pictures/Get
Gerard Philipe and Jeanne Moreau in a scene from the film 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses', 1959. (Photo by Astor Pictures/Getty Images)

According to IMDB, Moreau appeared in more than 100 movies, working with such prominent directors as Louis Malle in “The Lovers,” Jacques Demy in “Bay of Angels,” Orson Welles in “The Trial” and Luis Bunuel in “Diary of a Chambermaid.”

Her last on-screen appearance came in 2015′s “The Talent of My Friends,” according to IMDB.

She was also dedicated to the stage.

Her brief marriage to “The Exorcist” director William Friedkin lasted from 1977 to 1979 and she was previously married to to Jean-Louis Richard, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Moreau is survived by her son, Jérôme Richard. 



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