Gerard Depardieu
Credit: Gerard Depardieu: John Schults/Reuters

Hardest working Frenchman in showbiz Gérard Depardieu says he’s retiring after 170 movies. (He still has to do another Asterix movie next year, but then that’s it, the 56-year-old actor says.) A career that extensive inevitably includes a lot of stinkers, but also plenty of landmark performances. He’s been a larger than life presence in such movies as 1900, Jean de Florette, Camille Claudel, Cyrano de Bergerac, and several groundbreaking films for director Bertrand Blier, notably, Going Places, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Buffet Froid, and Too Beautiful for You.

I interviewed him many years ago, and he was modest and soft-spoken, not at all the wild bear he often appears to be in the press. His absence would mean a big black hole in cinema, but maybe we’ll be lucky and it’ll be a Jay-Z kind of retirement.

addCredit(“Gerard Depardieu: John Schults/Reuters”)