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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

French film legend Jeanne Moreau dies at 89

Jeanne Moreau, whose seven-decade career included work with Francois Truffaut, Orson Welles, Wim Wenders and other acclaimed directors, has died aged 89. AP
Jeanne Moreau, whose seven-decade career included work with Francois Truffaut, Orson Welles, Wim Wenders and other acclaimed directors, has died aged 89. AP

French actress Jeanne Moreau, who lit up the screen in Jules et Jim and starred in some of the most critically-acclaimed films of the 20th century, has died aged 89, her agent said Monday.

The husky-voiced actress epitomised the freedoms of the 1960s and brought daring and tomboy charm to a string of cinematic masterpieces from Louis Malle's Lift to the Scaffold to Joseph Losey's Eva.

Moreau, who was still making films at 87, was found dead at her home in Paris early Monday, the district's mayor said.

Once described by US director Orson Welles as "the best actress in the world", she was also a feminist icon, a trailblazer for liberated women at a time when cinema was slowly waking up to women's issues.

"Physical beauty is a disgrace," she once said.

Leading tributes to the plain-speaking actress, French President Emmanuel Macron said Moreau had "embodied cinema" and she was a free spirit who "always rebelled against the established order".

* Agence France Presse