French screen legend Jeanne Moreau dies aged 89

French actress Jeanne Moreau died in Paris aged 89.
French actress Jeanne Moreau died in Paris aged 89. Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau has died aged 89, her agent said on Monday. The screen icon, who starred in a number of critically-acclaimed films, won France’s equivalent of an Oscar, a César, for best actress in 1992 for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea. She also won the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1960.


Her career spanning 65 years, started in 1949 with Dernier Amour while her last screen appearance was in 2015 in the film Le Talent de mes amis. Her defining role was in Jules et Jim,the 1962 romantic drama set against World War 1 in which Moreau played Catherine, a woman caught in a love triangle.

'Jules et Jim' trailer (1961)

Directed by Francois Truffaut, the film captivated audiences throughout the world and catapulted Moreau to international stardom. She also featured in other hits like Ascenseur pour l’échafaud, Les amants and Viva Maria! in which she starred with Brigitte Bardot.

'Ascenseur pour l'échafaud' trailer (1957)

Moreau, who also lent her voice to memorable songs like Le tourbillon de la vie and J’ai la mémoire qui flanche, worked in international projects with renowned directors like Orson Welles, Tony Richardson and Ismail Merchant.

French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Moreau saying she had "embodied cinema" and was a free spirit who "always rebelled against the established order".

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