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 best known for the string of films she made with Jean-Luc Godard, including A Woman Is a Woman and Pierrot le Fou.
Karina was still a teenager when she hitchhiked to Paris from her native Denmark to try to become an actress. She developed a successful modelling career before being spotted by Godard while walking along the Champs-Elysees. Godard offered her a nude scene in Breathless, his first film, but she refused.
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”, Dazed reports.