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M. Bozzuffi; Tough Guy in French Films

February 04, 1988|From Times Wire Services

PARIS — Marcel Bozzuffi, known to the movie-going public for his roles as a crook or a tough cop in such films as "The French Connection," died Tuesday at 59 after a long illness, family members said.

Reuters news agency reported that he been suffering from cancer.

Bozzuffi, who played in about 30 films over 20 years, most of them French, perfected his bad-guy image in secondary roles.

One of his most notable scenes was in the 1971 "French Connection," where as a crazed killer he terrorized a New York subway car, with Gene Hackman in hot pursuit.

Began Film Career in 1955

Bozzuffi, born in Brittany of Italian parents, began his film career in 1955 at the age of 26, playing a truck driver in the Gilles Grangier movie "Gas Oil," with Jean Gabin and Jeanne Moreau.

In 1969, he co-directed a movie with Claude Lelouch, "L'Americain," starring Simone Signoret, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Francoise Fabian, his wife.

A year earlier, he played a homosexual killer in Costa-Gavras' movie "Z" and, in a rare move to the other side of the law, a police inspector in Lelouch's "La Vie, l'Amour, La Mort" ("Life, Love, Death").

More recently the balding actor was seen in the 1979 "La Cage aux Folles" and the 1981 sequel, "La Cage aux Folles II."

Bozzuffi also wrote scripts and directed films for television.

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