French cinema star Michel Piccoli dies at 94

Los Angeles, May 18 (PTI) Acclaimed French actor Michel Piccoli, known for films 'Le Mepris' ('Contempt') and 'Belle De Jour', has died at the age of 94.

He passed away last week, his family confirmed to French media but no cause of death was given, reported Deadline.

With more than 200 movies to his credit, Piccoli had a prolific stage and screen career in European cinema, which began in the late 1940s. He retired only recently in 2015.

The veteran worked the likes of directors Jean-Luc Godard, Luis Bunuel, Jean Renoir, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques Rivette and Jean-Pierre Melville.

Close to home, he worked with Godard on 'Contempt' (1963) and 'Passion' (1982), and starred in Spanish director Bunuel's films such as 1967's 'Belle de jour', 1969's 'The Milky Way' and 1972's 'The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie'.

Piccoli bagged the best actor award in Cannes Film Festival in 1980 for Marco Bellochio's 'A Leap In The Dark'.

Two years later, he went on to earn a Silver Bear at Berlinale for Pierre Granier-Deferre's 'Strange Affair'. He received four Cesar nominations.

The actor's last major role was in Nanni Moretti's 'Habemus Papam', which premiered in competition in Cannes in 2011 and earned him a David di Donatello award for best actor in Italy.

Piccoli was married three times, most recently to screenwriter Ludivine Clerc from 1978 until his death. PTI RDS RDS