French new wave star Anna Karina dies aged 79

French new wave star Anna Karina dies aged 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 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.