Maria Schneider, who starred opposite Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris, died this morning in Paris. She was 58. People reports that the cause of death was a result of cancer.
Schneider broke cinematic ground with her role in Last Tango in Paris. While it's somewhat tame by today's standards, it was shocking stuff for 1972, and at the time it set off a firestorm of controversy. It was rated X originally in the United States and was censored in locales around the world. It was also her greatest regret in life.
Here's part of the famous butter scene -- be careful who's around. It's just a short part of it, but NSFW or for little eyes. It will, however -- if you haven't seen the film -- provide a look at just how intense it is and why it sparked so much controversy at the time. Schneider later said she felt "raped" by Brando and the director because of it.
While the movie made Schneider famous, she later said she wouldn't have done it again, given the chance.
"I would have said no," she told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2006. "I would have done my work more gradually, more discreetly. I would have been an actress, I think, but more quietly."
Even at such a young age -- 19 -- she had reservations about doing the film.
"They said, 'You're crazy, you have the main part with Marlon Brando!' But I had the feeling that, you know, I would have some problems afterwards," she told the paper. "The humiliation was very strong. Marlon said he felt raped and manipulated by it and he was 48. And he was Marlon Brando!"
And she did have problems afterwards -- from drug addiction to problems finding work, she said she "fell." Eventually, however, she seemed to find happiness and even founded an organization to take care of aging actors and performers.
While hers is a life cut much too short, she did a lot of living during her years, and it's good to know that she eventually seemed to find happiness. R.I.P. Maria.
Have you seen Last Tango in Paris? What do you think of the movie?
Image via YouTube