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Jean-Paul Belmondo, star of Breathless, dies aged 88

Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 classic made Belmondo a major star and his craggy looks led to a stellar career in France and around the world

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Jean-Paul Belmondo, the French actor who shot to international fame in Jean-Luc Godard’s revolutionary New Wave classic Breathless, has died aged 88. The actor’s lawyer confirmed the news to AFP.

Belmondo – nicknamed Bébel by French audiences – became one of the country’s biggest box-office stars in the 60s and 70s, his battered-looking face a contrast to the chiselled features of his rival and sometime-collaborator Alain Delon. Like Delon, Belmondo was a key figure of the outstanding generation of European film-making of the period, with the series of films he made with Godard – which included A Woman Is a Woman and Pierrot le Fou – making an indelible mark.

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