Jeanne Moreau: Madonna and Dame Helen Mirren pay tribute to French star

Kelly Massey
August 1, 2017

She was best known for her roles in the films - Jules et Jim, Elevators to the Gallows, Les Amants and Diary of a Chambermaid.

French actress Jeanne Moreau has died.

I was fortunate to get to know Jeanne Moreau pretty well when I was working on foreign acquisitions and publicity for Roger Corman's New World Picturesin the mid-1970s. Alongside memories of her emotional and intuitive performances, many also referenced the style which Moreau laced into both her characters and her off-screen life.

Moreau passed away at the age of 89 years-old. Plenty of men adored Moreau - her loves included Malle, Truffaut, Lee Marvin, and fashion designer Pierre Cardin - but if her heart was ever broken, as all hearts inevitably are, that suffering became part of the wholeness of her spirit. Furthermore, she tried directing with L'Adolescente and Lumiere. It was a brilliant evening.

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Moreau was the recipient of a number of lifetime achievement awards including Bafta fellowship in 1996. In other words, Moreau was more than just a pretty face. 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. She couldn't care less about some of the perks of stardom - she would call us herself at our hotel, which made an impression on the desk clerks - but she was far from indifferent to them. We headed out into the night at the earliest opportunity.

Known for launching Jeanne's worldwide career through Jules et Jim, the late Francois Truffaut said that each time he took a glimpse of her, he could see her reading a book instead of a newspaper.

Born in 1926 to a dancer and a restaurateur, Moreau began her career on the stage and quickly became a successful theater actress. However, she made occasional features into English-language films like The Train directed by John Frankenheimer and The Victors by Carl Foreman. Her voice has the pleasant texture of summertime sand, and her expansive expressiveness fills every line. When Jeanne, a fellow addict, saw me reading a copy and asked where I'd found it, I offered to buy one for her as well, and things went on from there. Two years later, the couple separated., the actress does not support his life in the United States. She was an artist on a mission, and from then to now that's all that mattered.

She died at her home in Paris, the BBC reports.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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