French New Wave star Anna Karina, who served as a muse for Jean-Luc Godard and appeared in eight of his films, is no more. She was 79.
France’s culture minister, Franck Reister took to Twitter to announce her death, as did her agent, Laurent Balandras, who attributed the cause as cancer, reports variety.com.
“Her gaze was of the New Wave. It will remain so forever. She magnetized the entire world. Today, French cinema is an orphan. It loses one of its legends,” Reister wrote.
Karina’s best known films include “The Little Soldier”, “Vivre sa vie”, “Band of Outsiders”, “Pierrot le Fou” and “Alphaville” all throughout the 1960s.
She starred in “A Woman Is a Woman”, as well, in a performance that earned her the silver bear award for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival in 1961. Karina also worked with other directors of the New Wave, including Agnes Varda, Jacques Rivette, and Luchino Visconti.
Her work continued through the 1970s, including roles in Christian de Chalonge’s “The Wedding Ring”, Andre Delvaux’s “Rendezvous at Bray”, “The Salzburg Connection”, and Franco Brusati’s “Bread and Chocolate”.
She made her directorial debut in 1972 with “Vivre ensemble”.
Her relationship with Godard was reportedly tumultuous; they were married in 1961 and went on to make seven more feature films together, but divorced in 1965.
In addition to her film work, Karina was also a style icon of the 1960s, sporting the French girl look with sailor costumes, knee-high socks, plaid, and headwear like berets and boaters.
Following her divorce from Godard, Karina married three more times, to French actors Pierre Fabre (1968-1974) and Daniel Duval (1978-1981) and to American director Dennis Berry (1982-1994).