Ageing Star of the Nouvelle Vague Period Remembers Actress 30 Years on
Many people of a certain age will remember Alain Delon: cigarette dangling from his lips, fixed stare, driving a Citroen DS, he was one of the cinematic icons of the late 1950s and all through the great period of resurgence in French cinema of the 1960s.
Now aged 76 and still making films, Delon good looks and on-screen talent assured that he was constantly in the headlines during those heady days. His relationship with actress Romy Schneider over 50 years ago caused a sensation that helped to catapult the two of them to world-wide stardom. Like all the best showbiz relationships, it was short-lived and tempestuous.
Schneider herself enjoyed a hugely successful career. Her relationship with Delon kick-started a film career for the Austrian actress that was mostly based in France, with a brief time spent in Hollywood (She starred in “What’s New, Pussycat?”).
Delon will be paying homage to the love of his youth in a most unique manner. He has agreed to a cameo part in Geraldine Danon’s forthcoming biopic on Romy Schneider in which he plays a down-and-out who consoles the actress as she emerges in tears from her apartment.
Their affair began in 1958 with a promotional event. Delon, who is still a relatively unknown 23-year-old and rising star of the film “Sissi”, arrives at the airport with a large bunch of roses for the beautiful Romy Schneider with whom he’s due to film “Christine”. Cue lots of flash photography and the beginning of a relationship that will fill the gossip pages around Europe for some time to come. A year later, the couple are engaged. In 1964, however, a letter from Delon puts an end to the affair, explaining that he had “gone to Mexico with Nathalie”: his future wife and mother of his son Anthony. A devastated Schneider leaves Paris and moves to Berlin with film director Harry Meyen, whom she marries in 1966. The painful rupture doesn’t prevent Schneider and Delon from appearing together in the 1969 film “La Piscine”.
Schneider’s life later took a tragic turn with the accidental death of her 14-year-old son. She was found dead at her home in Paris on the morning of the 29th of May 1982. The official verdict was suicide.