French actor and national treasure Jean Rochefort has died | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 09.10.2017
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Culture

French actor and national treasure Jean Rochefort has died

Having appeared in more than 150 big screen and television movies, Jean Rochefort was one of France’s most beloved actors. He passed away at the age of 87.

Actor Jean Rochefort worked with the likes of directors Yves Robert and Patrice Leconte, but it was with the 1972 film spy satire "The Tall Blonde Man with The Black Shoe” that he reached cult status. A sequel followed two years later. He played in dozens of films over the course of his career.

He also appeared alongside numerous famous actors, including Louis de Funès und Gérard Depardieu. It was likely his moustache and his devilish grin that marked him as the personification of the French Old School that did not take themselves so seriously. 

In recent years, he was on the cast of numerous international productions, such as "Mr. Bean's Holiday” (2007) and "Asterix & Obelix – God Save Britannia” (2012).

Man on the Train with Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday (picture-alliance/dpa/Everett Collection)

Jean Rochefort (left) with Johnny Hallyday in the 2002 film "Man on the Train"

In 1998, he was cast to play Don Quixote by former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, who dreamed of bringing Cervantes' "unfilmable" novel to the big screen. Johnny Depp was also to play in the film, but a series of difficulties prolonged and altered that project. It was just last year that Amazon agreed to fund the film, which will be released next year.

Rochefort's career actually began in theater in 1949, playing in works by Harold Pinter, Peter Ustinov, Henry Miller und David Mamet.

During his career spanning over five decades, Rochefort received three Cesars – the French version of the Oscars – for Bertrand Tavernier's film "Let Joy Reign Supreme" in 1975 and three years later, for "Le Crabe-Tambour" (Drummer Crab). In 1999, he received a lifetime's achievement award.

Rochefort died in a Paris hospital during the night to Monday, Oct. 9.

als/ct (AFP, dpa)

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