A legendary actress who became the face of the New Wave movement in French cinema of the mid-20th century has died. The New York Times reports that Jeanne Moreau died Monday at her home in Paris. She was 89.
“Ms. Moreau, whom journalists liked to call the thinking moviegoer’s femme fatale, first came to American audiences’ attention in Louis Malle’s 1958 drama ‘The Lovers,'” The Times reports. “The film included a lengthy love scene in which Ms. Moreau, playing a bored housewife having an affair, enacted a clearly orgasmic moment, considered scandalous at the time.”
“It was four years later, in ‘Jules and Jim,’ that she became a full-fledged international star, playing Catherine, the capricious, destructive object of Oskar Werner and Henri Serre’s desire in a doomed ménage à trois,” the report adds.
Moreau, who was also a singer, screenwriter and director, won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the 1960 French drama “Seven Days… Seven Nights.” Her many other awards included a BAFTA for Best Foreign Actress for the 1965 film “Viva Maria!” and the Cesar Award for Best Actress for the 1992 film “The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea.”
Here’s a clip from 1958 of Moreau in “The Lovers” …