TSY STYLE HALL OF FAME | FRENCHMAN JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO

Jean-Paul Belmon*

JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Jean-Paul “Bébel” Belmondo, sometimes hailed as France’s answer to Humphrey Bogart or Steve McQueen, took the international film scene by storm in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 classic Breathless. Check out a primer of his best films here. Belmondo, the sexy and stylish star of the Nouvelle Vague (the new wave of cult French cinema), worked with leading directors from Louis Malle to Truffaut, and was widely heralded for his comedic and action star talents (he routinely performed his own stunts)– but for some reason, he never really connected with the mainstream American audience.

Jean-Paul Belmondo’s seemingly carefree chic and sensational style were no accident– he had an innate sartorial talent that was light years ahead of his peers, and remains the benchmark for classic French street style.  In fact, he’s easily one of the most legendary style icons of our time– no doubt about it.

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Belmondo, normally a private guy, came out of the woodwork in late ’09, creating an epic scandal–

In 2001, when Belmondo suffered a stroke that initially left him unable to speak, France assumed he would quietly drift out of the public eye. In 2003, he fathered his fourth child, Stella, with his second wife. But last year, the couple divorced. Out for dinner on the Côte d’Azur, the newly single Belmondo spotted Barbara Gandolfi, 33, a Belgian former Playboy model. Soon, the actor, once protective of his privacy, was posing for the cameras with Gandolfi at exclusive soirées and sporting events and inviting magazines to photograph them together.

From the start, Gandolfi insisted in the press that she was no bimbo: she worked with her ex-boyfriend, Frederic Vanderwilt, running an empire of night-spots in Flanders, including lap-dancing venues, a swingers’ club and various business interests ranging from an energy drinks company to exclusive car-hire in Dubai…

Sir, my fedora is off to you.

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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jean-paul belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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1962–  Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Gabin –Image by © Claude Schwartz/CORBIS

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Jean-Paul Belmondo Paris 1965

Jean Paul Belmondo

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean Paul Belmondo

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1961– Jean-Paul Belmondo –Image by © Apis/Sygma/Corbis

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1960– Jean-Paul Belmondo Dressing –Image by © Pierre Vauthey/CORBIS SYGMA

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Jean-Paul Belmondo, (Lt.) 1973– Image by © Alain Dejean/Sygma/Corbis (Rt.) 1972– Image by © Michel Ginfray/Apis/Sygma/Sygma/Corbis

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1965– Jean-Paul Belmondo –Image by © Apis/Sygma/Corbis

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1965– Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina. –Image by © Apis/Sygma/Corbis

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Jean Paul Belmondo 1960

Jean-Paul Belmondo, ca. 1960

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Jean-Paul Belmondo Jean-Paul Belmondo 1960

Jean-Paul Belmondo (Right) 1960, Paris, France –Image by © Pierre Fournier/Sygma/Corbis

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Jean-Paul Belmondo with daughter

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Jean-Paul Belmondo with his daugther Patricia, May, 1960. –Image by © Letellier/Apis/Sygma/Corbis

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(Left) Jean-Paul Belmondo, 1960 –Image by © Apis/Sygma/Corbis

(Right) Jean-Paul Belmondo with his children Patricia (13), Florence (7), and Paul (5), 1967, Nice, France. –Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo in ‘Breathless”

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo

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Ursula Andress Jean-Paul Belmondo Jean-Paul Belmondo

Ursula Andress & Jean-Paul Belmondo– Their stormy affair sank Andress’ marriage to John Derek.

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1969, Hollywood– Ursula Andress and Jean-Paul Belmondo. –Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

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 Jean-Paul Belmondo Alain Delon

1969, Marseille, France– Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon. –Image by © Apis/Sygma/Corbis

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Jean-Paul Belmondo –Image (Left) by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

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 Jean-Paul Belmondo and Italian actress Laura Antonelli

1970, France– Jean-Paul Belmondo and Laura Antonelli on the set of “Les Mariés de l’an II” –Image by © Georges Pierre/Sygma/Corbis

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Belmondo scandal article (Via)

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16 thoughts on “TSY STYLE HALL OF FAME | FRENCHMAN JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO

  1. Great post. There is just something instantly likable about JPB. AS you mentioned, he makes a great contrast to american male icons. His character in Breathless even imitates and admires “bogey”. Though some come close, I don’t think there is anyone that really compares in international cinema these days.

  2. Maybe he didn’t click with mainstream American audiences because he doesn’t have mainstream American good looks. Hard to say.

    Ursula Andress… John Derek… Anyone else notice that his last three wives–Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo Derek–were nearly identical in appearance? And they all appeared in Playboy–shot by him.

    Coinkidink, do you think?

  3. I love it. Simply love it.

    The way he combines that mischievous bad boy with the boy next door (just look at that heartfelt smile) is just beyond me.

  4. Charming article… Monsieur Jean-Paul successfully blended the excellence of French style with American ease and casualness… We could all learn a thing or two…

  5. I have followed Jean Paul’s career since the ’60s from afar, although as an American, was deprived for decades when his films were not distributed here anymore. He re-appeared here in the ’90s with the film ‘Les Miserables’ as a matured, versatile actor, although we got a passing glimpse of him mid-career in ‘Le Magnifigue.’ Unfortunately, he apparently went ‘mainstream’ for several decades with formulized gangster, comic and rogue films that the French public wanted to see. But I will always remember him in the improvisationsal ‘New Wave’ films that showed a natural, casual style. No, I do not think think any American actors compare with his casual ease, detachment and natural humor because most lack Jean Paul’s ability not to take themselves too seriously. He represents a uniquely French ‘jois de vivre’ persona that is inimatable.

  6. i am glad to have stayed awake a part of the night, from link to link till i found this amazing blog.
    vive belmondo et vive le style !

  7. I fell in love with Bebel in 1966, when he was 33 and I was 24. Post-divorce, he was dating “sophisticated” ladies in their 30′s. I felt too young. As I matured into my 30′s and beyond, and finally felt I had attained validity in being able to meet him eye-to-eye romantically, he continued dating sophsticated ladies in their 30′s, decade after decade, and up to this day. Belmondo has aged to 76, and I to 67…..and now, ironically, I would be considered “too old” by him. Oh, to be perpetually thirty-three….the both of us at once.!

  8. Dear americans friends-

    Try to find and watch “l’homme qui aimait les femmes” with the most iconistic french actor of the 60′s, Mister Charles Denner !!

  9. Pingback: TSY x GQ ITALY « The Selvedge Yard

  10. oh come on you do one on belmondo and not on alain delon . delon’s le samurai inspired tons of fashion designers . delon his fedora that trenchcoat are iconic . delon had more style than belmondo and delon fucked ursula andress and bridgitte bardot hot damn .

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