Anna Karina Dies: Actress Who Symbolized The Nouvelle Vague In The 1960s Was 79

Anna Karina AP Images

Anna Karina, the dark-haired and mysterious actress who became a symbol of France’s Nouvelle Vague thanks to her frequent appearances in Jean Luc Godard’s films, has died. She passed on Saturday in Paris from cancer at age 79, according to French officials and her agent.

The Danish-born actress was also a singer and author during her long career in the arts. Her1960s hits included Sous le Soleil Exactement and Roller Girl,” written by Serge Gainsbourg. Her four novels included Golden City.


Karina made her first film with Godard in Le Petit Soldat, a story of terrorism during the French-Algerian War. But because of censorship, the film was not released for three years. At that point, Karina had won the 1961 Best Actress Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for Godard’s Une Femme Est Une Femme.  

Her other Godard films of the 1960s included Vivre Sa Vie,  Bande à Part,  Pierrot le Fou,, Alphaville, and Made in U.S.A.,

Karina married Godard in 1961, later divorcing him and marrying two other times. She appeared in more than 30 other films, working with Luchino Visconti, Tony Richardson, Franco Busati and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. She directed the 1973 film Vivre Ensemble and Victoria, her final film, released in 2008.


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