PARIS (AP) — French actress Jeanne Moreau, a smoky-voiced femme fatale who starred in Francois Truffaut’s love triangle film “Jules and Jim” and whose award-winning, decades-long career included working with some of the world’s most acclaimed directors, has died at 89.
Outspoken, provocative and acting well into her 80s, Moreau was among France’s most-recognized performers. Tributes poured in Monday for a woman described by the French president as epitomizing her art like few others.
President Emmanuel Macron celebrated Moreau for going beyond earlier roles as a screen siren to embrace other genres, starring in comedies and action films.
“That was her freedom […] always rebellious against the established order,” Macron said in a statement. “[She had] a spark in her eye that defied reverence and was an invitation to insolence, to liberty, to this whirlpool of life that she loved so much. And that she made us love.”
The president’s office and Moreau’s agent announced her death Monday without providing a cause.
Once one of the world’s most popular actresses, Moreau was among the brooding symbols of the French New Wave. In an eight-year period, from 1959 to 1967, her directors included Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, Louis Malle and Truffaut.
Her performance as Catherine in Truffaut’s 1962 “Jules and Jim” was among her most well-known, in which two friends vied for her character’s love.