French actress Nathalie Delon, who was known for her glamorous on-screen persona and high-profile personal life, has died at the age of 79.
The actor Anthony Delon, son of Nathalie and her former husband Alain Delon, told AFP that she died on Thursday after a “very fast cancer”.
Nathalie and Alain famously starred together in the Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 neo-noir Le Samourai. The 21-year-old Nathalie had met the 29-year-old actor in a nightclub when he was in the media spotlight after a stormy five-year engagement to Romy Schneider. Following an affair, the pair were married in secret and departed for the U.S., with the actor engaged in a short-lived contract with MGM. Their son Anthony was born shortly after.
They received rave write-ups for Le Samourai but their marriage was stretched by the actor’s infidelity, including an affair with actress Mireille Darc when they appeared together in Jean Herman’s 1969 crime pic Jeff. The Delons subsequently divorced after four and a half years of marriage.
Nathalie remained in the U.S., continuing to act and receiving good reviews for performances in films including When Eight Bells Toll opposite Anthony Hopkins. She also appeared in Melville’s Army Of Shadows and the comedy Easy Down There! with Alain. The actress would go on to direct two features, Sweet Lies and They Call It An Accident, in which she also starred.
Her personal life remained in the limelight, later having flings with Richard Burton and American singer Eddie Fisher, both of whom had previously been married to Elizabeth Taylor.
She remained friendly with Alain Delon, now 85, and their son posted a picture of the pair together this Christmas. Alain has also had health problems having suffered a stroke last year.
Anthony Delon posted the following on Instagram in response to his mother’s death:
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