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Death of French filmmaker and actor Jean-Louis Trintignant at 91

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PARISFrench filmmaker, actor and amateur racing driver Jean-Louis Trintignant has died. He was 91 years old.

Trintignant died at his home in southern France, according to Bertrand Cortellini, who operated a vineyard with the actor and visited him on Thursday before his death. He did not disclose details. According to French reports, Trintignant had prostate cancer.

In a career that began at the age of 19, Trintignant appeared in over 100 films. He was one of the first French post-war actors and one of the last performers of his generation.

Tributes poured in after news of his death was announced on Friday. The National Cinematheque of France museum called him one of the greatest actors in the history of French cinema.

Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant
Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant (right) speaks as director Michael Haneke looks on after receiving the Palme d’or for love during the awards ceremony at the 65th international film festival, Cannes , in the south of France, on May 27, 2012 (Lionel Cironneau/AP Photo)

Born on December 11, 1930, in Piolenc in the south of France, near where he died, Trintignant began acting in theaters but achieved wider fame in film.

He described turning to acting to overcome intense shyness. An actor means being a blank page, starting from nothing, from silence. From there, it is not necessary to make a lot of noise to be listened to, he declared in Le Monde.

He starred in Italian films and several films by legendary French director Claude Lelouch, including the most famous A Man and a Woman in 1966, which won the Oscar for best foreign film.

Trintignant stopped performing for almost a decade after the loss of her daughter Marie, also an actress, in 2003. Her boyfriend, the famous French singer Bertrand Cantat, beat her to death during an argument in a hotel room in Lithuania, where she was making a film.

Trintignant continued to perform on stage and screen well into his 80s and gained new international attention in Michael Hanekes’ 2013 Oscar-winning drama Amour, a raw portrayal of an aging couple and the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease on their love.

In his last film role, Trintignant reunited with Lelouch and Aimee in The Best Years of a Life, in 2019.

Among the survivors are his wife Mariane Hoepfner, a former racing driver, as well as his son Vincent Trintignant and his grandson Jules Benchetrit, also actors.

The Associated Press

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