Ventura secured stardom with his part in the 1957 film Le gorille vous salue bien, which was followed by a string of lead roles in high profile films. These included: Classe tous risques (1960), Les Tontons flingueurs (1963), Le deuxième souffle (1966) and Le Clan des Siciliens (1969).
Whether he played the unscrupulous gangster or the uncompromising detective, Ventura's strong, solid performances gave his films a shocking, often brutal, sense of realism. His regular film appearances continued well into the 1980s, although by this time the thriller genre with which he was most associated was beginning to go out of fashion.
Ventura's tough on-screen presence conceals a kind-hearted and humble man. In the early 1980s, he co-founded (with his wife Odette) the organisation “Perce-Neige” which exists to support handicapped young people. He died from a heart attack, on 22nd October 1987 at Saint-Cloud in France.
Le Rapace (1968) [a]
Far West (1973) [a]
La Gifle (1974) [a]
La Cage (1975) [a]