Jean-Paul Belmondoￂﾠ(born 9 April 1933) is aￂﾠFrench actorￂﾠinitially associated with theￂﾠNew Waveￂﾠof the 1960s.
Born inￂﾠNeuilly-sur-Seine,ￂﾠHauts-de-Seine, west of Paris, Belmondo did not perform well in school, but developed a passion for boxing andfootball. Belmondo made his amateur boxing debut on 10 May 1949 in Paris, France, when he knocked out Rene DesMarais in one round. Belmondo's boxing career was undefeated, but brief. He won three straight first round knockout victories from 1949 to 1950.
His breakthrough role was inￂﾠJean-Luc Godard'sￂﾠBreathlessￂﾠ(1960), which made him a major figure in theￂﾠFrench New Wave. Later he acted inￂﾠJean-Pierre Melville's philosophical movieￂﾠLeon Morin, Priestￂﾠ(1961) and in Melville'sￂﾠfilm noirￂﾠcrime filmￂﾠThe Fingermanￂﾠ(Le Doulos, 1963) and Godard again withￂﾠPierrot le fouￂﾠ(1965). WithￂﾠThat Man From Rioￂﾠ(1965) he switched to commercial, mainstream productions, mainly comedies and action films but did appear in the title role ofￂﾠAlain Resnais' masterpieceￂﾠStaviskyￂﾠ(1974), which some critics regard as Belmondo's finest performance.
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 inￂﾠUn homme et son chienￂﾠ(A man and his dog).
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