Anna Karina, Star of French New Wave Cinema, Dies at 79

Karina starred in such classic ’60s films as “A Woman Is a Woman” and “Alphaville”

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Anna Karina, the Danish-born star of classic French New Wave films of the 1960s such as “A Woman Is a Woman” and “Alphaville,” died on Saturday at age 79.

Her agent, Laurent Balandras, tweeted that she died of cancer.

“Today, French cinema has been orphaned,” Franck Riester, France’s culture minister, wrote in his own tweet. “It has lost one of its legends.”

Karina landed her first film role as a teenager in Jean-Luc Godard’s “The Little Soldier,” a drama about the French-Algerian War that was shot in 1960 but not released until three years later due to censorship issues.

In 1961, she won the best actress award at the Berlin Film Festival for her work playing a French striptease artist in Godard’s 1961 film “A Woman Is a Woman.”

By that time, she had also married Godard — with whom she continued to work on classic New Wave films such as “My Live to Live,” “Band of Outsiders,” “Pierrot le Fou” and “Alphaville.”

After their divorce in 1967, Karina went on to act three dozen other films, and even tried her hand at directing with 1973’s “Vivre Ensemble,” about the tempestuous, abusive relationship between a young woman and a history teacher.

Karina was also a singer and novelist, recording an album and writing four books during her career.