French screen icon Jean-Louis Trintignant dies aged 91

By James FitzGerald
BBC News

  • Published
Black and white photo of Jean-Louis TrintignantImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Trintignant appears on stage in 1964

Jean-Louis Trintignant, one of France's best-known actors who starred in more than 100 films, has died aged 91.

Trintignant featured in Three Colours: Red, Z, The Conformist and Amour - which won an Oscar and the Palme d'Or.

The star gained huge public sympathy in France in 2003, after his daughter Marie was beaten to death by her rock star boyfriend.

He died early on Friday in the southern Gard region "surrounded by loved ones", his wife told the AFP news agency.

Born on 11 December 1930, Trintignant grew up during the adversity of World War Two and was sent as a young conscript to Algeria, then a French colony.

Trintignant's challenging early years were thought to explain his willingness to succeed in challenging roles, including thugs and criminals, through a career spanning more than six decades.

His first major screen appearance was opposite Brigitte Bardot, with whom he reportedly had a brief and much talked-about relationship while making 1956 romance And God Created Woman.

Trintignant was generally noted for avoiding the limelight, telling French newspaper Nice-Matin in one of his final interviews that fame "didn't interest" him.

He was, however, able to bring to bear his passion for motor racing - notably appearing as a driver in 1966 title A Man and A Woman.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Trintignant at Cannes Film Festival in 2019

The 2003 death of Trintignant's actress daughter Marie - and the murder conviction for her musician boyfriend Bertrand Cantat - stunned France, and Trintignant was pictured sobbing at her funeral.

Decades previously, Trintignant had lost another child, Pauline, as a baby.

After a career spanning more than six decades, which included efforts at directing, a cancer-weakened Trintignant made his final appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

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