FILE PHOTO: French film actress Anna Karina and director Costa Gavras arrive for a screening at the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France, May 16, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo
PARIS (Reuters) – Danish-born actress Anna Karina, one of the most acclaimed luminaries of influential French New Wave cinema, has died of cancer at age 79, her agent said on Sunday.
Karina, famous for her kohl-rimmed blue eyes, was the frequent muse of director Jean-Luc Godard, her first husband, starring in seven of his films including “A Woman is a Woman”, “Pierrot Le Fou” and “Bande a Part” (Band of Outsiders).
Her agent Laurent Balandras told French media that she passed away in Paris on Saturday in the company of her fourth husband, American director Dennis Berry.
“Her gaze was the gaze of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave). It will remain so forever,” French Culture Minister Franck Riester tweeted about Karina, an icon of 1960s chic. “Today, French cinema has been orphaned. It has lost one of its legends.”
Karina also worked with other great directors including Lucchino Visconti, Jacques Rivette and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and had leading roles in some major English-language productions in the late 1960s and early 1980s.
She later did some directing and had a singing career, recording “Sous Le Soleil Exactement” by Serge Gainsbourg.
Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Mark Heinrich