A French icon dies

Last Updated: July 27, 2013By Tags:

You’ve probably never heard of her but she is an essential part of cinema’s history. Actress Bernadette Lafont died yesterday at the age of 74 after a long and fruitful career in the movies and the theater–all told, she appeared in 120 films and twenty-one plays.

Lafont, an icon of the French New Wave movement and of feminism, distinguished herself through memorable roles such as that of Marie, a rebellious prostitute in a small village (“The Lost Generation,” András Kovács; 1968) and that of “La Fiancee du Pirate” by Nelly Kaplan (1969). The provocatively sensual thespian began her career with none other than the Claude Chabrol, appearing in his film “Le Beau Serge” (1958), a film in which she shared the lead with Jean-Claude Brialy.

In May 2007 Lafont chaired the Award for Education jury, which was presented during the 60th Cannes Film Festival. She was made an Officer of the Legion of Honor by the French state in 2009.

Her last film, “Paulette” (2012) was a success in and outside France.