Throughout his long and legendary career, Marlon Brando appeared in his fair share of controversial films, but none of them held a candle to Last Tango in Paris. The 1972 film was considered extremely explicit for its time because of the sexual situations it contained. The film starred a then 48 year old Brando, and a young French actress named Maria Schneider, who was just 19 years old. The duo made waves on screen and off, and now they’ve both sailed off into the cinematic sunset. Schneider has died at the age of 58.
According to Reuters, Schneider died on Thursday after a long battle with an illness. The announcement appeared in a French newspaper called Le Figaro. The actress was born to French actor Daniel Gelin and a Parisian bookshop owner. Last Tango in Paris was only her second feature film role, and she starred opposite a Hollywood Legend.
If you haven’t seen the film, it still stands up today. The premise centers on a middle aged business man who goes to Paris and engages in a no strings attached sexual relationship with a young native woman. To say things get complicated would be an understatement. There’s plenty of nudity and graphic scenes that contain both sex and violence. It was some strong material, and she was a champ to handle it at such a young age.
Schneider also went on to star in The Passenger alongside Jack Nicholson in 1975, before returning to French cinema.
R.I.P. Maria Schneider.