Born in Neuilly in 1933, the son of sculptor Paul Belmondo, Jean-Paul Belmondo studied acting at the Paris Conservatory and became a star overnight in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (1960). The quintessential New Wave actor, Belmondo went on to work with most of the major directors of the '60s and '70s. He climaxed his Godardian phase with Pierrot Le Fou (1965), swashbuckled and globe-trotted in Philippe de Broca’s Cartouche (1962) and That Man from Rio (1964), wore a cassock and a trench coat for Jean-Pierre Melville’s Léon Morin, Priest and Le Doulos (both 1961), romanced Catherine Deneuve in Truffaut’s Mississippi Mermaid (1969), stood up to screen veterans Jean Gabin and Charles Vanel in Henri Verneuil’s Un Singe en hiver (1962) and Melville’s L’Ainé des Ferchaux (1963), and embodied one of the 20th century’s most daring swindlers in Alain Resnais’s Stavisky (1974).
By the late '70s, Belmondo had abandoned arthouse films for action vehicles, which shifted the dramatic emphasis from acting talent to acrobatic prowess. By the mid-'80s, his popularity was on the wane, though he made a comeback of sorts in Claude Lelouch’s Itinéraire d’un enfant gaté (1988) and Les Misérables (1995). Other later credits include Patrice Leconte’s Half a Chance (1998), Cedric Klapisch’s Peut-être (1999), and Bernard Stora’s made-for-television remake of L’Ainé des Ferchaux (2001), in which Belmondo reprised the role played by Charles Vanel in the 1963 version.
Formerly owner and director of the prestigious Théâtre des Variétés in Paris, Belmondo made his stage comeback in 1987 and has portrayed Edmund Kean, Cyrano, and Frédérick Lemaître (the brilliant ham actor of Children of Paradise fame). In 1999 and 2001, a series of strokes forced him into retirement. In 2008, he made a poignant comeback in A Man and His Dog, a remake of De Sica’s Umberto D. In 2010, Belmondo received a Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Belmondo passed away on September 6, 2021 at the age of 88.
Other Rialto titles starring Jean-Paul Belmondo:
Les Distractions (1960)
Moderato Cantabile (1960)
Le Corps De Mon Ennemi (1973)
Flic Ou Voyou (1979)
Le Guignolo (1980)
Le Professionnel (1981)
L'as Des As (1982)
Le Marginal (1983)
Joyeues Paques (1984)
Les Morfalous (1984)
L'inconnu Dans La Maison (1992)
Les Acteurs (2000)
Contact us if you’re interested in booking any of these films.