Jeanne Moreau, iconic star of 'Jules et Jim', has died

Actress Jeanne Moreau arrives at the European film awards ceremony in Berlin. File

French acting legend Jeanne Moreau dies at 89

Jeanne Moreau, the French actress who starred in such films as Jules And Jim and Diary Of A Chambermaid and whose independence, sensuality, and vitality embodied the spirit of the French New Wave, has died.

In 1960, she won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival for Peter Brook's Seven Days.

The iconic star was best known for her roles in French New Wave classics Jules et Jim and Lift to the Scaffold, as well as her work behind the camera.

She was, in the late 1970s, married to the United States director William Friedkin, who, with The French Connection, inveigled New Wave techniques into American cinema.

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Jeanne Moreau, shown here at the 1995 Cesars with Gregory Peck and Steven Spielberg, has died at 89.

"Any man who didn't love Jeanne Moreau would have to be blind and deaf. I know that shocks many women, but I'm not maternal". In America, her greatest fame came with Francois Truffaut's "Jules et Jim" (1962) in which her character, Catherine, enchants, beds, and confounds two best friends (Oskar Werner and Henri Serre) on the way to self-destruction.

She has worked alongside legends the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Tony Richardson and Orson Welles and has even appeared in English language films such as 1993's "Map of the Human Heart" alongside John Cusack, 1996's "I Love You, I Love You Not" opposite Claire Danes and 1998's "Ever After" with Drew Barrymore.

In a loving tribute, John Waters remembers serving with her on the jury at Cannes, and later inviting her to the French screening of his 2004 film A Dirty Shame, which Moreau called "pure poetry". In her home country, Moreau was and remains an institution, the Sphinx of le Cine.

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The French actress Jeanne Moreau was a lion of worldwide cinema, projecting ferocious intelligence, unapologetic independence and staggering beauty throughout a career that spanned more than six decades, with almost 150 acting credits to her name.

Indeed. In her early career, the aging global lions of directing lined up at her door and Moreau answered.

She had a son during her first marriage to Jean-Louis Richard. "Sorry, Jeanne, is stronger than us: we cry".

"It's very important that women make films", she'd said with typical intelligence and directness. She married Jeanne's father, a restaurateur, and moved to the vicinity of Vichy. In Elevator to the Gallows, Moreau plays femme fatale Florence, a deceitful wife complicit in the murder of her husband - her intention is to run off with her lover, Julien (Maurice Ronet). I could feel it. Merde!

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