Tributes poured in Monday for the late Jeanne Moreau, the iconic actress who began her career in the 1950s and starred in films by Louis Malle, Francois Truffaut, Jacques Demy, Michelangelo Antonioni, Orson Welles and Luis Bunuel.
Moreau’s death at 89 was confirmed by French authorities, prompting public figures from President Emmanuel Macron on down to pay homage to the star of “Jules and Jim” and “Les Amants.”
The president of Cannes Film Festival, Pierre Lescure, tweeted: “She was strong and she didn’t like to see people pour their hearts out. Sorry, Jeanne, but this is beyond us. We are crying.” Moreau won the award for best actress at Cannes in 1960 for “Seven Days… Seven Nights,” presided over the main competition jury twice, and received an honorary palm in 2003.
Macron called “a legend of cinema and theater…an actress engaged in the whirlwind of life with an absolute freedom.”
Francoise Nyssen, France’s culture minister, said: “She has passed, but the voice, the genius, the vision of the artist remain.”
Frederique Bredin, president of France’s National Film Board, praised Moreau for “transforming the image of womanhood.”
“We have admired her absolute freedom, her engagement, her strength,” Bredin in a statement. “She was a luminous woman. Her immense talent, her endearing voice will remain forever in our memories.”
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Her ex-husband, director William Friedkin, tweeted “France has lost a national treasure.”