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Jean-Paul Belmondo (born 9 April 1933) is a French actor initially associated with the New Wave of the 1960s.


Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seinemarker, west of Paris, Belmondo did not perform well in school, but developed a passion for boxing and football.

His breakthrough role was in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960), which made him a major figure in the French New Wave. Later he acted in Jean-Pierre Melville's philosophical movie Leon Morin, Priest (1961) and in Melville's Film Noir crime film The Fingerman (Le Doulos, 1963) and Godard again with Pierrot le fou (1965). With That Man From Rio (1965) he switched to commercial, mainstream productions, mainly comedies and action films. Until the mid-1980s, when he ceased to be one of France's biggest box-office stars, Belmondo's typical characters were either dashing adventurers or more cynical heroes. As he grew older, Belmondo preferred concentrating on his stage work, where he encountered success. He suffered a stroke in 2001 and had since been absent from the stage and the screen until 2009 when he appeared in Un homme et son chien (A Man and His Dog).

He was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre national du Mérite, promoted Officier (Officer) in 1986 and promoted Commandeur (Commander) in 1994.

He was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur, promoted Officier (Officer) in 1991 and promoted Commandeur (Commander) in 2007.

Personal life

Belmondo's father, Paul Belmondo, was a sculptor of Sicilian descent.

In 1953, Belmondo married √Člodie Constantin, with whom he had three children: Patricia (1958), Florence (1960) and Paul (1963). Paul became a Formula One driver; his eldest daughter Patricia was killed in a fire in 1994. In 1966, due to a well-publicized affair between Belmondo and actress Ursula Andress, Belmondo and his wife divorced.

In 1989, Belmondo met Nathalie Tardivel who was 24 years old at the time. Belmondo married her in 2002. On 13 August 2003, at the age of 70, his fourth child Stella was born. In 2008, Belmondo and Tardivel divorced.

Cultural references

  • Belmondo is saluted in a 1967 episode of the U.S. television sitcom Get Smart. In the episode "The Spirit is Willing" a top agent of the sinister spy agency KAOS is named Paul John Mondebello, an obvious alteration of Belmondo's name. He is also mentioned in a song about "Masculinity" in the play La Cage Aux Folles, and is mentioned in the Donovan song "Sunny South Kensington" on the Mellow Yellow album.

  • Rick S. Hunter, the main character Nick Twisp's post-surgical alter ego in the Youth In Revolt series by C.D. Payne is said to resemble Belmondo.

  • The appearance of the title character of the manga Cobra is based upon Belmondo.

  • His prolific smoking habit is referenced by jj in 'Are You Still In Vallda?' with the line: "You smoke like a young Belmondo".


See also


  1. Bébel - Jean-Paul Belmondo Fanlisting
  2. Famous French people of immigrant origin, Eupedia : France Guide
  3. The Complete Get Smart Guide - Episode Guides - Third Season

External links

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