French actress Nathalie Delon, known for her glamorous on-screen character 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 Thursday of “very rapid cancer”.
Nathalie and Alain performed together in Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 neo-noir The Samurai. Nathalie, 21, had met the 29-year-old actor at a nightclub while in the media spotlight after a stormy five-year engagement with Romy Schneider. Following an affair, the couple secretly married and left for the United States, with the actor on a short-term contract with MGM. Their son Anthony was born soon after.
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They received complimentary articles for The Samurai 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 photo. Jeff. The Delons then divorced after four and a half years of marriage.
Nathalie remained in the United States, continuing to act and receiving good reviews for performances in films including When eight bells are ringing opposite Anthony Hopkins. She also appeared in Melville’s Army of shadows and comedy Easy there! with Alain. The actress would go on to direct two feature films, Sweet lies and They call it an accident, in which she also starred.
His personal life has remained in the limelight, having had affairs with Richard Burton and American singer Eddie Fisher, both married to Elizabeth Taylor.
She remained friendly with Alain Delon, now 85, and their son posted a photo of the couple together this Christmas. Alain also had health problems after suffering a stroke last year.
Anthony Delon posted the following on Instagram in response to his mother’s death: