Cannes to award Truffaut's muse honorary Palme d'Or

10th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

Jean-Pierre Leaud, the actor regarded by French New Wave great Francois Truffaut as his double, is to be given an honorary Palme d'Or, the organisers of the Cannes film festival said Tuesday on the eve of its opening.

Leaud, 71, made his debut at Cannes at just 14 in 1959 in Truffaut's semi-autobiographical masterpiece "The 400 Blows", with the director later admitting that the actor was effectively playing him.

He later went on to star in other Truffaut classics such as "Stolen Kisses" and "Bed and Board".

But the director's untimely death aged 54 in 1984 was a disaster for the actor who was so closely associated with the master.

"Jean-Pierre Leaud is part of Cannes legend," the festival said in a statement. "His spontaneity was representative of the wind of freedom that the French New Wave brought to cinema."

Although Leaud also worked with the other great New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, his career never quite recovered.

The Palme d'Or is the highest prize at Cannes and will be awarded just before the close of the festival on May 22.

© 2016 AFP

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