French screen legend Michel Piccoli dead at 94

By Martin BUREAU

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A star of the silver screen and a man who served "society" died, but his legacy will live on as legend.

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Piccoli was a life-long activist and former communist who counted the philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre among his friends, but that did not stop him raging against repression in the old Eastern Bloc and supporting the Polish trade union, Solidarity.

But of course. Many true communists were outraged and spoke out against the dreadful regimes in the Eastern Bloc. Unfortunately, not enough did.

RIP, Monsieur Piccoli.

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This man worked with just about every major director of the past 60 years and was in more good films than any actor had a right to be in - including two of my personal faves, Belle de Jour and Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. He had charm, character and strength as a performer, and he could also be more than a little bit crazy when required. The movies live on, a perfect memorial.

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