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Saturday, February 05, 2011

French Actress Maria Schneider dies at 58

Schneider died in Paris on Thursday after a long illness, her family told Agence France Presse.

The actress, whose real name was Marie Christine GĂ©lin, became famous worldwide after starring the controversial film "The Last Tango in Paris" alongside Marlon Brando. Her death was announced by her relatives.
Schneider was born in Paris on March 27, 1952. She was the daughter of French actor Daniel Gelin and Romanian-born Marie-Christine Schneider. Her film debut came in 1969 when she was only 17 years old.

Schneider appeared in more than two dozen films, most of them French, but was best known for “Last Tango” and its story of recently widowed American businessman (Brando) and a soon-to-be-married French woman (Schneider) who become involved in an emotionally detached relationship. The film features several full-frontal nude scenes and acts of violent sex. The infamous “butter scene,” in which the substance is used as a lubricant for anal rape, was particularly scandalous. Inflaming the controversy was that Schneider was only 19 at the time.

In his review of the film when it was released in the United States in 1973, The Times' Charles Champlin wrote that Schneider “is a triumph of casting—petulant, self-indulgent, and convincingly terrified as someone who has gotten in beyond her depth.

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