Classic French Film Star Jeanne Moreau Dies at 89

Jeanne Moreau with Pierre Cardin

Paris-born, Moreau was a trained stage actress and member of the Comedie Francaise before receiving critical attention for a pair of 1958 films, both directed by Louis Malle - Elevator to the Gallows and The Lover - before capturing worldwide acclaim for her role in Truffaut's Jules et Jim.

In 1960, Moreau was named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for Peter Brook's Seven Days. She worked with Orson Welles on films including "Chimes at Midnight" and took starring roles in a number of films of the French new wave.

Jeanne Moreau, the actress known for her husky voice which captivated cinema audiences, was found dead at her home in Paris.

She has been called the "Grand Dame of French New Wave" and has been credited with being a rebel on and off the screen.

Jeanne Moreau is survived by her son Jerome Richard, whose father is her first husband Jean-Louis Richard. That had been shocking at the time, about representative also of the freedom of the spirit of Jeanne Moreau.

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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. After a lull in the 1970s and 1980s, her career picked up again. Moreau is delightful in this French-language film as a Parisian maid who is sent to work at a country estate - and whose eyes are quickly opened to the dirty secrets and hidden desires of her seemingly normal bourgeois employers and neighbors. European by her origins, her artistic choices have led her to collaborate with the greatest European artists of her generation. The pair immediately followed that film with another project, The Lovers (1958), the film that made Moreau an worldwide star.

Her image on the sleeve of Miles Davis's soundtrack LP to that film secured her a permanent place in jazz iconography.

President Emmanuel Macron confirmed her death and said in a statement: "We could say about Jeanne Moreau that a part of cinema legend is gone". Because my wife has lived in Paris, we go back frequently, and it became a ritual to call Jeanne up and go to dinner, often in her neighborhood in the 16th arrondissement. I'll tell you something: "Age isn't age!" "When I see a film after I've made it, I see my own life before me", she said.

One of the irritations of modern Internet culture is the haphazard way the word "iconic" is thrown around, basically as an all-purpose synonym for "cool" or "thing I like".

Moreau had a prolific career and continued acting into her 80s. "And that she made us love".

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