Tributes poured in Monday, including from the French president, for one of France’s most-recognized performers.
PARIS — French actress Jeanne Moreau, a smoky-voiced femme fatale who starred in Francois Truffaut’s love-triangle film “Jules and Jim” and whose award-winning, decades-long career included working with some of the world’s most acclaimed directors, has died at 89.
Outspoken, provocative and acting well into her 80s, Moreau was among France’s most-recognized performers. Tributes poured in Monday for a woman described by the French president as epitomizing her art like few others.
President Emmanuel Macron celebrated Moreau for going beyond earlier roles as a screen siren to embrace other genres, starring in comedies and action films.
“That was her freedom … always rebellious against the established order,” Macron said in a statement. “(She had) a spark in her eye that defied reverence and was an invitation to insolence, to liberty, to this whirlpool of life that she loved so much. And that she made us love.”
The president’s office and Moreau’s agent announced her death Monday without providing a cause.
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Once one of the world’s most popular actresses, Moreau was among the brooding symbols of the French New Wave. In an eight-year period, from 1959 to 1967, her directors included Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, Louis Malle and Truffaut.
Her performance as Catherine in Truffaut’s 1962 “Jules and Jim” was among her most well-known, as two friends vied for her love.
She was born in Paris on Jan. 23, 1928, to a French father and English mother who danced at the Folies-Bergere. Moreau starred in her first feature film in 1949 and starred in her last film in 2015, a French comedy called “My Friends’ Talent.”
Her breakthrough film was Malle’s “Les Amants,” or “The Lovers,” a modern version of “Madame Bovary” about a bored wife who drives off with a virtual stranger — including a scene so erotic that the French government nearly banned the film.
Among her other notable films were Truffaut’s 1968 “The Bride Wore Black” and Bunuel’s 1965 “Diary of a Chambermaid.” She also performed in films by Peter Brooks, Wim Wenders and other international…