Jean-Paul Belmondo (born 9 April 1933) is a French actor initially associated with the New Wave of the 1960s.
Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, west of Paris, Belmondo did not perform well in school, but developed a passion for boxing and football. Belmondo made his amateur boxing debut on 10 May 1949 in Paris, France, when he knocked out Rene DesMarais in one round. Belmondo's boxing career was undefeated, but brief. He won 3 straight first round knockout victories from 1949-1950. His breakthrough role was in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960), which made him a major figure in the French New Wave. Later he acted in Jean-Pierre Melville's philosophical movie Leon Morin, Priest (1961) and in Melville's film noir crime film The Fingerman (Le Doulos, 1963) and Godard again with Pierrot le fou (1965). With That Man From Rio (1965) he switched to commercial, mainstream productions, mainly comedies and action films but did appear in the title role of Alain Resnais' masterpiece Stavisky (1974), which some critics regard as Belmondo's finest performance. Until the mid-1980s, when he ceased to be one of France's biggest box-office stars, Belmondo's typical characters were either dashing adventurers or more cynical heroes. As he grew older, Belmondo preferred concentrating on his stage work, where he encountered success. He suffered a stroke in 2001 and had since been absent from the stage and the screen until 2009 when he appeared in Un homme et son chien (A man and his dog).
He was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre national du Mérite, promoted Officier (Officer) in 1986 and promoted Commandeur (Commander) in 1994.
He was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur, promoted Officier (Officer) in 1991 and promoted Commandeur (Commander) in 2007.
In 2010 the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards gave him a Career Achievement award. Belmondo attended the ceremony and made appearances in the Los Angeles area.
In 1953, Belmondo married Élodie Constantin, with whom he had three children: Patricia (1958), Florence (1960) and Paul (1963). Paul became a Formula One driver; his eldest daughter Patricia was killed in a fire in 1994. In 1966, due to a well-publicized affair between Belmondo and actress Ursula Andress, Belmondo and his wife divorced. He has six grandchildren, three from his daughter Florence- Annabelle, Christopher and Nicholas and three from his son Paul- Alessandro, Victor, and Giacomo.
In 1989, Belmondo met Nathalie Tardivel who was 24 at the time, she and Belmondo married in 2002. On 13 August 2003, when he was 70, his fourth child Stella Eva Angelina was born. In 2008, Belmondo and Tardivel divorced.