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Anna Karina
via Instagram/@la.cinephile

Anna Karina, star of French New Wave cinema, has died

The actress, singer and director, who collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard and Serge Gainsbourg, was 79

Anna Karina, an icon of the French New Wave, has died aged 79. The Danish-French actress had cancer, her agent says, and passed away in a Paris hospital last night (December 14).

Karina was known as her ex-husband Jean-Luc Godard’s muse – appearing in several of his films throughout the 1960s, including A Woman Is a Woman (for which she won best actress at the Berlin film festival) and Pierrot le Fou. 

However, she also had a career as a novelist and director in her own right. She wrote several novels in French and set up a production company to make her 1973 directorial debut, Vivre ensemble, as well as directing and starring in the 2008 French-Canadian film, Victoria. 

As a singer, Karina also collaborated with Serge Gainsbourg on the song “Sous le Soleil Exactement”.

Tributes have already begun pouring in on social media, from French minister of culture Franck Riester – who says, “French cinema has been orphaned” – and figures across the film industry.