Last Tango in Paris Star Maria Schneider Dead at 58

Actress dies in Paris after long illness
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2011 4:45 AM CST
Marlon Brando chases actress Maria Schneideron a city street in a scene from "Last Tango in Paris."   (AP Photo/United Artists)
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(Newser) – The captivating French actress who starred with Marlon Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci's famous X-rated 1972 film Last Tango in Paris has died in Paris at the age of 58. Maria Schneider passed away after "a long illness," a talent agency representative said, without providing further details. Schneider was just 19 when she starred in Last Tango, which was banned in Italy for nearly 20 years for its explicit sex scenes. In the film, Brando and Schneider's characters agree not to reveal any personal details about themselves as they meet in an apartment for sexual encounters until Brando becomes mesmerized by his partner.

Schneider starred alongside Jack Nicholson in another Italian film, 1975's The Passenger, but her career and personal life went into decline soon after, the Los Angeles Times notes. She made headlines during the rest of the '70s for drug and alcohol abuse and suicide attempts. She turned her life around in the '80s and continued to work in film, but her work was rarely seen in the US.

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