Born in a musician's family, he spent the first fifteen years of his career appearing both on stage and on screen, mostly in supporting roles. His breakthrough came after Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt (1963) and about 100 films, ranging from art-house movies to commercial mainstream, followed. He won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for A Leap in the Dark (1980) in 1980 and the Silver Bear in Berlin for Strange Affair (1981) in 1982. Not surprisingly, he was chosen to impersonate Mr. Cinema in Agnès Varda One Hundred and One Nights (1995).
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