Maria Schneider, best known for being Marlon Brando’s co-star in Last Tango in Paris, died yesterday at the age of 58.
It is thought that the French actress had been battling a long illness, but her spokesperson provided no further details.
The voluptuous yet baby faced actress was only a 19-year-old model when Italian director, Bernardo Bertolucci, choise her for the role of the Jeanne in Last Tango In Paris. Explaining his choice, Bertolucci described her as “like a Lolita, but more perverse.”
The film made Schneider a star, but she later accused Brando and Bertolucci of exploiting her.
Schneider’s role in the film, where her sex scenes with Marlon Brando set a new standard for explicitness on screen, was said to have both defined and destroyed her career.
Following her role in Last Tango in Paris, the actress went on to star Passenger alongside Jack Nicholson. It was an existential thriller by director Michelangelo Antonioni.
Schneider’s other films include A Woman Like Eve, In the Country of Juliets, and Savage Nights; which was critically acclaimed. Her last significant role was in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1996 Jane Eyre adaption.
Most of her career was hindered by drug addiction and mental illness She had also claimed to struggle with fame and her own personal problems.