Prolific French actor Michel Piccoli, well known for his memorable performances in seminal European movies Le Mépris (Contempt) and Belle De Jour, has died aged 94 his family has confirmed to French media.
Piccoli starred in more than 200 movies during an acclaimed stage and screen career which began in the late 1940s and lasted until 2015.
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Piccoli worked with iconic directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Luis Bunuel, Jean Renoir, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques Rivette and Jean-Pierre Melville. His collaborations with Godard included 1963’s Contempt and 1982’s Passion while multiple collaborations with Spanish director Buñuel included 1967’s Belle de jour, 1969’s The Milky Way and 1972’s The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie.
The film vet won the best actor prize in Cannes in 1980 for Marco Bellochio’s A Leap In The Dark and a Silver Bear in Berlin two years later for Pierre Granier-Deferre’s Strange Affair. He received four Cesar nominations.
The actor’s last major role was in Nanni Moretti’s Habemus Papam, which premiered in competition in Cannes in 2011 and earned him a David di Donatello award for best actor in Italy.
Piccoli was married three times, most recently to screenwriter Ludivine Clerc from 1978 until his death. He passed away last week.
French cinema organization UniFrance described Piccoli as a “legend”:
— UniFrance (@uniFrance) May 18, 2020
« Silencio »
Michel Piccoli, 1925-2020. pic.twitter.com/oTGFcaAtL9
— La Cinémathèque (@cinemathequefr) May 18, 2020
Michel Piccoli was that rare thing: the actor who could do anything. Big leads, robust support, weird character turns, sincerity, irony, singing dancing… Too many films to mention, but I really do love just tooling around with him in Marco Ferreri's Dillinger Is Dead. RIP pic.twitter.com/b6NliFc1xU
— David Jenkins (@daveyjenkins) May 18, 2020
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