Death of Jean-Louis Trintignant: the immense French actor died at 91

Death of Jean-Louis Trintignant: the immense French actor died at 91

Jean-Louis Trintignant died on June 17 at the age of 91. Caesarized actor with 140 roles, he had recently shot for Michael Haneke “Love” and “Happy End”. He will remain the man of “A man and a woman” by Claude Lelouch.


Jean-Louis Trintignant died at the age of 91. A theater actor, director of two feature films, and actor in 140 films, he won a Silver Bear for Best Actor for The Lying Man (1968), an interpretation award at Cannes for Z (1969) and a César for Love (2012).


Nephew of racing driver Maurice Trintignant, who passed on his passion to him, the young Jean-Louis Trintignant studied law at the faculty of Aix-en-Provence. But on his 19th birthday he attends a theatrical performance that will change his life: The Miser, directed by Charles Dullin, whose classes he decided to attend in Paris. Young first who started on the boards in 1951 with the play To each according to his hungerthe actor is quickly noticed, thanks in particular to Limited Liabilitya text by Robert Hossein, in 1953. At this time, he made a brief stint at IDHEC, with the ambition of becoming a director – a desire that would not materialize until twenty years later.


After a few appearances, the first film in which Jean-Louis Trintignant appeared was If All the Guys in the World in 1955, but the one that revealed it was And God Created Vadim’s Woman, a scandalous drama that launched the Bardot myth. Very marked by his two years of military service in Algeria, he found one of his first major roles in 1961 in Le Combat dans l’ile, a committed work by Cavalier. His taste for ambiguous characters will also make him shoot several great political films, Z from Costa-Gavras (his composition as a judge earned him the Interpretation Prize at Cannes in 1969) to Bertolucci’s Conformist – one of the peaks of his Italian career, which also includes Risi’s Le Fanfaron or Scola’s La Terrasse.


It was with A Man and a Woman by Lelouch that the actor achieved star status in 1966. Catholic tempted by infidelity in Ma nuit chez Maud by Rohmer, manipulated seducer in Le Mouton enrage by Deville, real estate agent suspected of murder in Strongly Sunday! of Truffaut, he navigates between the most innovative auteur cinema and films for the general public. Interpretation Prize in Berlin for The man who lies by Robbe-Grillet, the actor takes part in the whodunit Flic story by Deray and in Bon Plaisir by Girod, in which he plays a President of the Republic inspired by François Mitterrand. With his nuanced acting, with a depth tinged with irony, Jean-Louis Trintignant, whose velvety voice is a precious asset, stands out as one of the greatest actors of his generation.

During the second half of the 1980s, Trintignant shot dramas for Régis Wargnier (La Femme de ma vie), Jacques Doillon (For a yes or for a no) or André Téchiné (Rendez-vous). However, he returned to thrillers for Pierre Granier-Deferre (The Man with the Silver Eyes), but also Jacques Audiard (Watch the Men Fall).


Married to Stéphane Audran then to Nadine Marquand, Jean-Louis Trintignant made several films under the direction of the latter, most often alongside their daughter Marie, who would also become his privileged partner in the theater. Since the end of the 80s, the actor, retired in his house in Uzès, says he is tired of the cinema, and is becoming rarer on the screens. His performances as an old misanthropic man in Three colors – Red by Kieslowski or Those who love me will take the train by Chéreau, are all the more disturbing.

Nevertheless, he agreed to shoot in 2002 with his daughter, in Janis and John, the first feature film by Samuel Benchetrit. Ten years later, Michael Haneke offers him the main role of his new film, Love. In this drama awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes, the actor plays Georges, an octogenarian whose wife has just had a stroke and finds herself paralyzed. 5 years later, the actor finds the Austrian filmmaker to shoot Happy End, iinstant from a European bourgeois family.

In 2019, he had found Claude Lelouch and Anouk Aimée for The most beautiful years of a life, third opus of the series A man and a woman.

“Happy End”, Jean-Louis Trintignant’s latest film:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.