Love And A Letter: Alain Delon And Romy Schneider Were Silver Screen Lovers Like None Before

Date August 17, 2018

Alain Delon and Romy Schneider first got together in 1958, while she was filming “Christine” in France and the next four years of their lives cemented a relationship that was to last for decades, long after her death in 1982.


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He was 23 at the time and relatively unknown in the movie circles, but after handing her a bouquet of roses, Schneider was quite interested. At first, she found him offensive and even ill-mannered. However, playing his on-screen lover softened her up in no time.


Soon after, the couple took a train ride to a new film festival in Brussels and love took hold of them. Delon invited Schneider to come stay with him in Paris. However, her mother was against the idea. Eventually, she demanded Delon make a legal commitment to Schneider before they leave for Paris.


While Delon enjoyed his status as a French sex symbol, Schneider was frustrated with rumors of his affairs. Magda Schneider in particular was worried about the mental and physical health of her daughter who suffered abuse from Delon on a regular basis.

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Love lost and a letter

By 1963, the star-crossed relationship ended. On returning to Paris after shooting “The Process” in Hollywood, Schneider found their apartment empty with a bouquet of black roses and a stark note from Delon as a welcoming present.


Schneider was no ordinary woman. Delon saw in her a love and light that was incomparable to any other. After her passing in 1982, he expressed his regret for treating her badly in a letter titled “Farewell My Puppelé” originally published in French magazine “Pari-match.” The excerpts below are translations from Frech with some minor errors.

They tell me that you’re dead. I think of you, of me, of us. What am I guilty of? We ask ourselves this question before a being that is loved and still love that one. This feeling fills you, and then flows back and then we say that one is not guilty, no, but responsible … I am. 


Delon was deeply hurt when Schneider died and in some ways, he blamed himself for her death. But his love for her was unflinching and his parting words to her captured the depth of his feelings for the love of his life.

My Puppelé, I look at you again and again. I want to devour all of my eyes, and tell you again and again that you’ve never been so beautiful and calm. Rest. I’m here. I learned a little German, with you. Ich liebe dich. I love you. I love you my Puppelé.  

Forever the ladies' man

Delon was never lacking female company in his days and many wondered why he insisted on being in a relationship with Schneider when he could have anyone else he desired. Speaking in an interview about his persona and fame after 1960’s “Purple Moon,” Delon was quite confident of his charm.

The women were all obsessed with me. From when I was 18 till when I was 50.


Was Delon really to blame for the misery and sadness that was the end of Schneider’s life? Would they have been better off married in spite of the abuse? Is this the great movie love story that never was?


Delon lives with his regrets despite having gotten married to Natalie Bellamy in 1964, and eventually getting a divorce four years after. He continues to speak fondly of the one true love he lost.

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