Credit: Joost Evers / Anefo

French new wave cinema star, Anna Karina has died aged 79

The French new wave actress Anna Karina has sadly died at the age of 79. The Danish-French actress died in hospital in Paris following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Karina remains an icon of the industry thanks to her work with one-time husband and iconic director Jean Luc-Godard. It was a relationship that would become as iconic as their work.

Karina found fame in the 1960s as the muse for Godard where she became the mother of all French cinema. Karina got her big break after she was spotted by Godard walking down the Champs-Elysees.

Godard did try to cast Karina in his most famous film Breathless but Karina turned him down as the role required nudity.

“It was really a great love story, but very tiring in a way for a young girl because he would go away a lot,” Karina told Vogue in 2016. “He would say he was going to buy some cigarettes and he would come back three weeks later.”

Their divorce would come only four years after marriage but Karina continued to have a long and prosperous career, working with filmmakers Jacques Rivette, Luchino Visconti, and Tony Richardson. In the early 1970s, she worked behind the camera too, directing Vivre Ensemble.

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