Legendary actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, considered by many to be the face of the French New Wave cinema, passed away peacefully at his home in Paris on Monday. He was 88. The news was confirmed by the actor's agent to the AFP news agency. Born on April 9, 1933 in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Belmondo's family predominantly consisted of artists, including his father who was a reputed sculptor. He began his acting career in theatre in the 1950s before making a transition to films later in the decade.

Jean-Paul Belmondo first collaborated with iconic French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard in the 1958 short Charlotte And Her Boyfriend, with their association bringing in the French New Wave in cinema. He then went on to star in the lead role in the 1960 gangster film, Consider All Risks with Lino Venture before teaming up with Godard once again in Breathless. European cinema saw a new movement as Belmondo also forayed into Italian films like Two Women opposite Sophia Loren in 1960, followed by 1961’s The Lovemakers with Claudia Cardinale. 

Belmondo once again teamed up with Godard in 1961 for the musical romantic comedy, A Woman Is a Woman, after which he joined hands with Pierre Melville in films like Léon Morin, Priest, The Fingerman and Magnet Of Doom. The actor dominated the box office in France throughout the 1960s, while also gaining massive acclaim for his performances in arthouse films. Belmondo was one of the few actors from European cinema to decline offers to act in Hollywood and began to produce films in the 1970s under his Cerito Films banner. He was married twice and is survived by three children.