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Mireille Darc, Icon of French Cinema in ’60s and ’70s, Dies at 79

Mireille Darc, the celebrated French model-turned-actress who collaborated with Georges Lautner, Jean-Luc Godard, Édouard Molinaro, Alain Delon and Michel Audiard, has died. She was 79.

An icon of French cinema in the 1960s and ’70s, Darc starred in more than 50 films, notably Lautner’s “The Great Spy Chase” and “La Grande Sauterelle,” Godard’s “Weekend,” Jacques Pinoteau’s “Hard Boiled Ones,” Denys de La Patellière’s “The Upper Hand,” and Yves Robert’s “The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe,” in which she appeared opposite Pierre Richard.

Although she stopped acting in films in the early ’90s, Darc occasionally starred in TV series and movies and was admired within the French film industry for her independence and strong but gentle personality. Frédérique Bredin, the president of France’s National Film Board, paid tribute to Darc on Monday.

Calling her “an icon” and a “sex symbol,” Bredin said Darc was a “fatal blonde beauty, a fake ingenue with a mischievous smile who was during her whole life a free woman, a daring fighter.”

Darc was in a relationship with Delon for more than 10 years. The actor’s son, Anthony Delon, remembered Darc as “a spiritual human being, a woman who was remarkably courageous, kind and optimistic,” in a letter published by the news agency Agence-France Presse.

Darc is survived by her husband, Pascal Desprez.

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