×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

French thesp Jade dies at 58

Actress best known for her work in Truffaut's Antoine Doinel films

French actress Claude Jade, who over the course of three films played the fiancee, wife and ex-wife of Francois Truffaut’s fictional alter-ego Antoine Doinel, died  Dec. 1 of cancer.  She was 58.

Born in Dijon, Jade studied at the drama conservatory there and left for Paris where she began appearing on stage while still a teen. Truffaut discovered her during the dress rehearsal of Pirandello’s “Henri IV” and two months later wrote inviting her to play Christine Darbon — the girlfriend of Antoine Doinel , played by Jean-Pierre Leaud — in “Stolen Kisses” (1968).  The film won that year’s Prix Louis Delluc and got Jade noticed on an international scale.

Truffaut dubbed Jade “French cinema’s little sweetheart” and the director and his muse were soon a couple in real life, although Truffaut changed his mind about marrying her the night before their wedding.

In 1969, Jade appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Topaz.”

She went on to play Doinel’s wife in “Bed and Board in 1970, only to divorce him in “Love on the Run,” in 1979.

A staple on French television in popular series over the course of three decades, Jade also regularly appeared on stage in classic roles. In addition to several dozen bigscreen productions in France, she acted in Belgian, Italian, Japanese and German films. 

In the early 1980s, when her diplomat husband was posted in the USSR, Jade appeared in the Russian films “Teheran 43” and “Lenin in Paris.”

In  2004 she published an autobiography, “Baisers envoles” which included a detailed  account of her romance with Truffaut, ending with an open letter to the director, who died in 1984.

She had appeared on stage in Paris and on tour as recently as this past August, wearing a glass eye, before eye cancer spread to her liver. 

She is survived by a son.

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Alien' at 40: Ridley Scott Explains Why 'You Don't Show the Monster Too Many Times'

    It’s difficult to imagine Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic “Alien” without the clear-minded, strong presence of Tom Skerritt as Dallas, the captain of the ill-fated Nostromo. But originally, the actor turned down “Alien,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary on May 25, though he thought Dan O’Bannon’s script read well. “There was nobody involved at the time [...]

  • The Poison Rose

    Film Review: 'The Poison Rose'

    It is 1978 in the City of Angels and the hard-drinking washed-up sleuth Carson Phillips is having another boozy day through its atmospheric streets. There is a hint of innate coolness and self-deprecation in his elongated voiceover intro — you might even briefly mistake Carson, played by a one-note John Travolta, for a Philip Marlowe [...]

  • 'Chambre 212' Review: A Comedy More

    Cannes Film Review: 'Chambre 212'

    Most of us, in our romantic lives, meditate here and there on the other roads we might have traveled, and movies are uniquely equipped to channel those alternate-universe-of-love possibilities. That’s the idea at the (broken) heart of “Casablanca.” And the fantasy of getting to see the turns your life didn’t take play out right in [...]

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

  • Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for

    Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for North America

    Magnolia Pictures has bought North American rights to the Romanian crime thriller “The Whistlers” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film stars Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi and George Pisterneanu. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content