French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant dies at 91

French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant dies at 91

Voix recognizable entre toutes, présence magnétique teintée de mélancolie: Jean-Louis Trintignant, décédé vendredi à 91 ans, a mené pendant un demi-siècle une immense carrière au théâtre et au cinéma, from «Et Dieu… créa la femme» à “Love”.

He entered the history of cinema with “A man and a woman” by Claude Lelouch -Palme d’Or in 1966-, won the acting award at Cannes for “Z” by Costa Gavras in 1969 and the César for “Amor” (2012). ). ) by Michael Haneke.

This perfectionist was also a worried and reserved man who confided that he had had suicidal temptations: “I admit that I have never been very cheerful.”

This pessimism accompanies him long before the death of his daughter Marie, with whom he had a great bond. He died in 2003 under the blows of his partner, the singer Bertrand Cantat.


A few months earlier, father and daughter had performed Apollinaire’s “Poèmes à Lou” on stage as a duet.

This tragic death would not stop tormenting him: “It could have stopped my life at that moment.” Pushed by his relatives, he returned to the stage, finding “therapy” in poetry and theater. The tables, his “real job” of him, he told AFP. “We make movies a little out of vanity”, “so as not to be more shy”.

Born on December 11, 1930 in Piolenc in the Vaucluse, this son of an industrialist was brought up the wrong way. A shy young man, he took comedy lessons from Charles Dullin in Paris.

He made his stage debut in 1951 in Schiller’s “Marie Stuart” and on screen in Christian-Jaque’s “If All the Boys in the World” (1956).

He returns the same year alongside Brigitte Bardot (“And God… created woman”, Vadim). There is a lot of talk about her romance with “BB”.

Returning from a traumatic military service in Algeria, the actor leaves with “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” (Vadim). His nervous and sensitive game seduces.

With his composition of romantic lovers in “A man and a woman”, together with Anouk Aimée, he becomes the actor who tours the most, like Belmondo and Delon. In total, he will act in about 120 films …

He has a predilection for ambiguous, impenetrable, disturbing characters. He feels as comfortable in commercial cinema (“Is Paris Burning?”, René Clément) as in the avant-garde (“L’homme qui ment”, by Alain Robbe-Grillet, is worth the Silver Bear for best actor in Berlin) or political, like “Z”.

He also toured Italy, notably in Dino Risi’s “Le Fanfaron” and Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Le Conformiste”.

Jean-Louis Trintignant himself directed two films, “A Busy Day” and “The Lifeguard”, without much success.

In the 1980s, this maverick reoriented his career towards the theater. This does not prevent him from doing some great roles in the cinema, in “Watch how men fall” or “Three colors: red”, where he plays a taciturn ex-judge.

After the death of his daughter, he was away from the movie sets for almost ten years, before making a strong comeback in 2012 in Haneke’s “Amour”, in which he plays an octogenarian coping with the slow death throes of his wife. , played by Emmanuelle. Riva.

He then found Haneke for the role of a suicidal old bourgeois in “Happy End”, in competition at Cannes in 2017, the year in which a final sample of poetry readings by Prévert, Vian and Desnos was offered in Paris, then on tour. .

Coming full circle, he found Claude Lelouch and his partner Anouk Aimée in 2019 for “The Most Beautiful Years of a Life,” following “A Man and a Woman” 53 years later.

Married three times, he married actress Stéphane Audran and then director Nadine Marquand (Trintignant) with whom he had three children, Marie, Pauline (he died when she was a baby) and Vincent. Since his divorce, this car enthusiast has shared the life of racing driver Marianne Hoepfner.

Jean-Louis Trintignant had lived for thirty years near Uzès (Gard), not far from his beloved vineyards.

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