Jean-Louis Trintignant, the legendary actor of the French New Wave of cinema, has passed away at the age of 91. Trintignant’s death was confirmed by his wife, Marianne, and agent to the French press.
No immediate cause of death was given. Trintignant was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, and it was reported that he would not seek treatment. Articles detailing the actor’s declining health stretch back to 2021.
Beginning his career on the stage, Trintignant quickly jumped to film with his first role in Christian-Jaque’s 1955 movie If All the Guys in the World. A steady presence in French cinema for the next six decades, Trintignant racked up notable credits in the films And God Created Woman, Il Sorpasso, A Man and a Woman, The Great Silence, My Night at Maude’s, and The Conformist.
Trintignant was given major cross-continental attention with his starring role in Costa-Gavras’s hot-button 1969 drama Z. The film itself received the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, at which Trintignant won the Best Actor Award as well. Z‘s nomination for Best Picture at the 42nd Academy Awards provided a major spotlight for French cinema, Greek politics, and Trintignant’s skills as an actor.
Although he continued to work mostly outside the Hollywood system, Trintignant did star in the occasional English language film, including 1972’s The Outside Man and the 1983 thriller Under Fire.
Trintignant’s two most notable late period roles came in 1994’s Three Colours: Red, which was nominated for three Oscars, and 2012’s Amour, which was nominated for five Oscars, winning in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
After his 2018 cancer diagnosis and one final film, 2019’s The Best Years of a Life, Trintignant retired from acting on screen. His personal life was beset by two notable tragedies – the death of his first daughter Pauline from sudden infant death syndrome in 1969 and the death of his second daughter Marie at the hands of singer Bertrand Cantat in 2003.
Trintignant leaves behind one song, Vincent, along with his wife Marianne.