Michel Piccoli  

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Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli (27 December 1925 – 12 May 2020) was a French actor, producer and film director.

Life and career

Piccoli was born in Paris to a musical family; his French mother was a pianist and his Swiss father was a violinist. He appeared in many different roles, from seducer to cop to gangster to Pope, in more than 170 movies. He appeared in six films directed by Luis Buñuel including Belle de Jour (1967) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), but also appeared as Brigitte Bardot's husband in Jean-Luc Godards Contempt (1963) and as the main antagonist in Alfred Hitchcocks Topaz (1969). He also appeared in numerous films by Claude Sautet, sometimes co-starring in them with Romy Schneider.

In the 1990s, Piccoli also worked as a director on a number of films. One of his last leading roles was his portrayal of a depressed, newly elected pope in Nanni Moretti's We Have a Pope (2011).

Piccoli was part of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés circle in the 1950s, which included Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He was a member of the French Communist Party in this era. A life-long left-winger, he objected to repression in the Soviet bloc, and supported the Solidarity trade union in Poland. Piccoli married three times, first to Éléonore Hirt, then for eleven years to the singer Juliette Gréco and finally to Ludivine Clerc. He had one daughter from his first marriage, Anne-Cordélia.

Piccoli died from complications of a stroke on 12 May 2020, aged 94.

Selected filmography

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