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French actress Jeanne Moreau, who lit up the screen in "Jules et Jim" and starred in some of the most critically acclaimed films of the 20th century, has died aged 89 . The gravel-voiced actress epitomized the freedoms of the 1960s and brought daring, depth and danger to a string of cinematic masterpieces from Louis Malle's "Lift to the Scaffold" to Jacques Demy's "Bay of Angels". Moreau was still making films at 87 . Once described by Orson Welles as "the best actress in the world," she was a feminist icon and trailblazer for liberated women as well as the face of French New Wave. Born in Paris 1928 to an English chorus girl from Oldham and a French restaurant owner, she took to acting with apparent effortless ease, defying her father by joining the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 18, and gaining entry to the elite Comedie Francaise theater troupe two years later.Moreau was most at home in French, with a penchant for challenging, literate movies often adapted from works by such writers as Jean Genet and Marguerite Duras.Moreau married twice and had one son, Jerome, from her first marriage to Richard.
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