Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled R.I.P. Anna Karina, icon of French New Wave films
Photo: Evening Standard (Hulton Archive, Getty images)

As reported by Deadline, French New Wave icon Anna Karina—a frequent collaborator with and former wife of director Jean-Luc Godard—has died. Deadline says French officials and her agent confirmed that she died earlier this weekend in Paris from cancer. Karina was 79.


Born Hanne Karin Bayer in Denmark in 1940, Karina worked as a model for commercials and singer as a teenager, running away from home and moving to Paris in the ‘50s. She was discovered by another advertising agency and started regularly appearing in magazine ads, which is where she first drew the attention of then-aspiring filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. He wanted Karina to appear in his debut film, Breathless, but she didn’t like the part he had offered. A year later, Godard offered her a larger role in his film Le Petit Soldat, and shortly after that the two were married. In their brief and tumultuous time together—they divorced in 1965—the two made multiple films together, including A Woman Is A Woman, My Life To Life, Pierrot Le Fou, and influential sci-fi New Wave noir Alphaville.

Karina appeared in dozens of other films, working with other notable filmmakers of the ‘60s like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Franco Busati, and Luchino Visconti. She also worked as a director in her own right, with 1973's Vivre Ensemble, wrote several novels, and had a successful singing career with a couple of albums under her belt (most recently with 2005's Chansons De Films).

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