Christine Kaufmann, Golden Globe-winning actress, died in Munich, Germany, after battling leukemia, her management company told the dpa news agency on Tuesday. She was 72.
“Christine was a unique and wonderful woman, a very caring person with the love of life,” read a statement on her Facebook page. “Your endless wisdom, your poetic nature and boundless tolerance and love for people make you unforgettable. She loved her family, was a reliable friend and enchanted everyone with her unique charm, humor and joy of life. We will miss Christine very much and bid farewell to a great actress, book author and creator of a successful beauty line.”
The Austrian-born actress became the country’s first Golden Globe winner in 1962, winning the Most Promising Newcomer – Female Award for her role in Town Without Pity.
Born in 1945 and with 110 credits to her name, Kaufmann began her acting career at the age of seven in The White Horse Inn (1952). She gained attention in Rose-Girl Resli (1954), but her roles opposite Steve Reeves in The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) and Kirk Douglas in Town Without Pity (1961) earned her international recognition. She also starred in Escape from East Berlin (1962).
In 1963, Kaufmann married Tony Curtis, whom she met while filming Taras Bulba (1962). They had two daughters before divorcing in 1968.
She continued acting in feature films including Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971), Willow Springs (1973), As of Tomorrow (1976), Die Schläfer (1998), and TV series Die Laurents (1981), Monaco Franze – Der ewige Stenz (1983) and Die ProSieben Märchenstunde (2008), among others. Her last role was as Aunt Polly in 2014’s Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn.
Kaufmann also owned a cosmetics products line that sells in Germany, and wrote several books about beauty and health, as well as two autobiographies.