A key figure in French cinema and theater, best known for his role in Man and Woman, Jean-Louis Trintignant died on Friday at the age of 91. He “died peacefully, of old age, this morning, at his home in Garda, surrounded by his loved ones.
A recognizable voice, a magnetic presence tinged with melancholy, Trintignant led a huge career over the course of half a century, marked by some 160 theater and film roles, from “And God … Created Woman” to “Love”.
Made film history with Claude Lelouch’s Man and Woman – Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1966 – he won at Cannes the prize for interpreting Costa Gravas’ “Z” in 1969 and the César for Best Actor for Love by Michael Haneke in 2013. Three pinnacles in his career.
This perfectionist, with elegant modesty, was also a preoccupied and reserved person who admitted to having suicidal temptations: “I confess I have never been very cheerful.”
This pessimism accompanied him long before the death of his daughter Mary, with whom he maintained a close relationship. She died in 2003 from the blows of her companion, 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 did not cease to haunt him: “I could have stopped my life at that moment.” Pushed by relatives, he returned to the stage, finding “treatment” in poetry and theater. The boards, his “real job,” he told AFP. “We make films a little out of vanity,” “so that we don’t feel embarrassed anymore.”
French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday paid tribute to a “tremendous artistic talent” who “accompanied a bit of our life in French cinema.” “This is a page that is being turned,” the head of state added, referring to the actor’s “soft voice.”
“He was the first actor who said yes to me. Seven films, seven times he offered me his talent,” Claude Lelouch said emotionally on RTL radio, praising “the most beautiful voice that we heard in theater and cinema.” “He gave us his scars. He was a wonderful person (…) I owe him everything,” he continued.
“He was a rare person, in a good way confusing. A huge comedian. He worked all his life with a tape recorder in his hand, reading poetry, and at the end of his life, well, the last four years, he upset everyone, saying wonderful poems and in great shape And he made great films, of course, Lelouch, but there are also conformist, red, finally excellent films,” his ex-wife Nadine Trintignant, the mother of his children, reacted to BFMTV.
Communication with BB
Born on December 11, 1930 in Piolenc, in the south of France, this industrialist’s son, nephew of racing driver Maurice Trintignant, was brought up the hard way, with a sense of honesty that never left him. A shy young man who gave the impression that he was always somewhere else, he took comedy lessons from Charles Dullin in Paris.
He made his stage debut in 1951 in Schiller’s Mary Stuart, and on the screen in Christian-Jacques’ If All the Boys in the World (1956). In the same year, he toured with Brigitte Bardot (“And God … Created Woman”, Roger Vadim). Her affair with BB is causing a lot of talk.
After returning from a traumatic military service in Algeria, the actor leaves Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Vadim). His nervous and sensitive game is seductive.
Man and woman
With his composition of romantic lovers in Man and Woman, together with Anouk Aimé, he becomes the actor who tours the most, like Belmondo and Delon. In total, he will play in about 120 films …
He has a penchant for ambiguous, impenetrable, unsettling characters. He is just as comfortable in mainstream films (Is Paris on fire?, René Clement) as he is in the avant-garde (Alain Robbe-Grillet’s The Man Who Lives, which won him the Silver Bear for Best Actor in Berlin). or political, like “Z”.
He also toured Italy, notably in Dino Risi’s Fanfarone and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformiste.
Jean-Louis Trintignant himself made two films, A Busy Day and The Lifeguard, without much success.
Big comeback in 2012
In the 1980s, this nonconformist refocused his career on the theater. That doesn’t stop him from playing some great movie roles, in Watch the Men Fall or Three Colours: Red, where he plays a taciturn ex-judge.
After his daughter’s death, he took a break from film sets for nearly a decade before returning to action in 2012’s Love, in which he plays an octogenarian who faces his wife’s slow death throes.
He then found Haneke for the role of the suicidal old bourgeois in Happy Ending at the 2017 Cannes competition, when he offered himself one last screening of poetry readings by Prevert, Vian and Desnos at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. then on tour.
Man and woman
Closing the loop, he found director Claude Lelouch and his partner Anouk Aimé for The Most Beautiful Years of Life in 2019, after Man and Woman 53 years later.
He was married to actress Stephane Audran, then to director Nadine Marquand (Trentignant), with whom he had three children: Marie, Pauline (died in infancy) and Vincent. After the divorce, this motorsport enthusiast lived with racing driver Marianne Höpfner.
Jean-Louis Trintignant lived for thirty years near Uzès (Gar), close to his favorite vineyards. “My midi is a bit like me: strict, not very warm. Peace reigns, and that suits me.”
His funeral will be held privately.
This article has been automatically published. Source: ats