Alain Delon booking

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Alain Delon is one of French cinema’s most recognisable icons, an actor who, in a career that spans
more than half a century, has worked with some of the finest directors in the world and has left an
enduring legacy of celebrated screen portrayals. Delon’s extraordinary success as an actor and
businessman belies his humble beginnings. He was born in Sceaux, France, on 8th November 1935;
his father managed a small local cinema and his mother worked for a pharmacy. Delon was four
years old when his parents divorced and he was placed in the care of foster parents. He was raised in
a house next to the prison in which his foster father worked as a warder. A rebellious and unhappy
child, Delon was unruly at school and expelled several times. Later, he went to live with his mother
when she re-married and served an apprenticeship as a butcher, before enrolling in the French
marines at the age of 17.
During France’s war with Indochina, Delon was posted to Saigon and saw active service, an
experience which he later stated was immensely beneficial to him in teaching him discipline and
building his character. In 1956, Delon returned to France and found work as a porter and waiter in
Paris. It was during this period that he was befriended by some aspiring young actors (notably JeanClaude Brialy), through whom he would get to meet the film director Yves Allégret. It was Allégret who
gave Delon his first acting job, a walk-on part in the 1957 film Quand la femme s’en mèle. This led
Marc Allégret to cast him in the comedy-thriller Sois belle et tais-toi (1958), where he appeared
alongside another promising young actor, Jean-Paul Belmondo, whose popularity would rival Delon’s
in the following two decades. Alain Delon’s breakthrough came in 1958 when director Pierre GaspardHuit gave him his first leading role, in the historical romance Christine, in which he starred opposite the
well-known Austrian actress Romy Schneider. Whilst making this film, Delon and Schneider fell in
love and soon after became engaged. Naturally, the world’s press made a great deal of the fairytale
romance but the engagement ended five years later when Delon fell for another young actress,
Nathalie Canovas, whom he married in 1964. The couple had a son, Anthony (who also pursued a
career as an actor) but divorced in 1968 when Delon began his 15-year long affair with actress Mireille
Darc. In 1969, Alain Delon and Romy Schneider appeared together for a second time in Jacques
Deray’s classic thriller La Piscine.
René Clement’s stylish thriller Plein soleil (1960) brought Delon international stardom and established
the screen persona that would stay with him for the rest of his career – the cold but enigmatic antihero. This exposure brought Delon into contact with the celebrated Italian director Luchino Visconti,
who cast him in his Paris production of the John Ford play Dommage qu’elle soit une putain, which ran
for 8 months to great acclaim. Visconti then offered Delon a lead part in his celebrated film Rocco et
ses frères, which won the Prix Spécial du Jury at the Venice film festival. Delon then featured in
another Visconti film, Il Gattopardo (1963), which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Another great Italian
filmmaker, Michelangelo Antonioni, cast Delon in the leading role of his masterpiece L’Eclisse (1962),
opposite Monica Vitti. Over the following decade, Alain Delon became one of the most sought-after
screen actors in France, appearing in a wide range of genres that included: swashbuckling adventure
(La Tulipe noire); wartime drama (Paris brûle-t-il?) and romantic comedy (The Yellow Rolls-Royce).
However, the genre that he became most closely associated with was the polar, France’s distinctive
brand of crime-thriller. After sharing the limelight with another screen legend, Jean Gabin, in Mélodie
en sous-sol (1963) and Jane Fonda in Les Félins (1964), he took on one of his most iconic roles in
Jean-Pierre Melville’s gangster thriller Le Samouraï (1967) (in which he starred alongside his then wife
Nathalie). For the next decade, and beyond, Delon would often be cast in similar roles, playing with
impeccable ease the tough, taciturn gangster or detective, in such films as Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge
(1970), Henri Verneuil’s Le Clan des Siciliens (1969), and Jacques Deray’s Borsalino (1970). Delon’s
physical beauty and panther-like elegance, combined with a subtle aura of menace and detachment,
made him a perfect casting choice for the lead in hardboiled thrillers. He was the Clint Eastwood of
French cinema.

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