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French film icon Belmondo turns 80

French film icon Belmondo turns 80
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A major figure in French New Wave cinema of the 1960s, Jean-Paul Belmondo, is celebrating his 80th birthday.

He is an icon of post-war France having worked with a host of other cinema legends, among them Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle and Francois Truffaut. He made his breakthrough in 1960 with Breathless.

Belmondo turned increasingly to theatre, but a stroke in 2001 saw him take a break from treading the boards and making films.

On set he insisted on doing his own stunts, a swashbuckling touch that echoed his brief but successful pre-movie flirtation with the world of boxing.

He is still happy to appear in front of the camera though. He is due as a guest on a popular French TV talk show at the weekend.