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Anna Karina

Anna Karina

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1940-09-22

56 Movies


Anna Karina (born Hanne Karin Bayer, 22 September 1940 – 14 December 2019) was a Danish-French film avant garde actress, director, writer, and singer. She was French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard's muse in the 1960s, performing in several of his films, including The Little Soldier, A Woman Is a Woman, My Life to Live, Bande à part (Band of Outsiders), Pierrot le Fou (Crazy Pete) and Alphaville. For her performance in A Woman Is a Woman, Karina won the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival.In 1972, Karina set up a production company for her directorial debut, Vivre ensemble (1973), which screened in the Critics' Week lineup at the 26th Cannes Film Festival. She also directed the French-Canadian film Victoria (2008). In addition to her work in cinema, she worked as a singer, and wrote several novels.Karina was an icon of 1960s cinema, and referred to as the "effervescent free spirit of the French New Wave, with all of the scars that the position entails". The New York Times described her as "one of the screen's great beauties and an enduring symbol of the French New Wave."

Personal Life

While working together on Le Petit Soldat, Karina and Godard began a relationship and married in 1961. Eventually, Karina served as a cinematic muse to Godard, appearing in eight of his films, including Alphaville, bande à part, and Pierrot le Fou, during their five year marriage and after. Karina liked being the muse. "How could I not be honoured?" she told Xan Brooks of The Guardian in 2016. "Maybe it’s too much, it sounds so pompous. But of course I’m always very touched to hear people say that. Because Jean-Luc gave me a gift to play all of those parts. It was like Pygmalion, you know? I was Eliza Doolittle and he was the teacher." At this, she briefly channels Henry Higgins. "By Jove," she says. "I think she’s got it."The couple became, according to The Independent, "one of the most celebrated pairings of the 1960s." A writer for Filmmaker magazine called their work "arguably the most influential body of work in the history of cinema."Despite the critical success, their relationship behind the scenes was described as tumultuous; they fought on film sets, Karina fell ill several times, and Godard was often absent without explanation. One Godard film from this period which does not feature Karina, Contempt (1963), is said to be based on their difficult relationship. The couple divorced in 1965. Karina said in spring 2016 that she and Godard no longer spoke to each other. She described the relationship in an interview with W magazine:It was all very exciting from the beginning. Of course we have a great love story and all that, but we were so different. He was 10 years older than me. He was very strange. He would go away and come back three weeks later ... It was difficult, and I was a young girl, not even 21—at the time Godard was 30. I know he didn't mean to hurt me, but he did. He was never there, he was never coming back, and I never knew where he was. He drove me a bit crazy.After divorcing Godard, Karina remarried three times; she was married to French actors Pierre Fabre from 1968 to 1974 and Daniel Duval from 1978 to 1981, and to American film director Dennis Berry from 1982 until her death. She was asked why she married four times in an interview published on December 15, 2019. The retelling of her response is as follows: The first time, reflects it, Jean-Luc offered me marriage because I was pregnant." Silence. "And maybe also because he loved me." She is badly treated in hospital, which leaves her with an embryo that has died for several months and the final impossibility of being a mother. "It remains very upsetting for me", she said, crying. The fourth time is with Dennis Berry. He asks her hand on a whim on a Sunday in Las Vegas – so the jewelry stores for the ring were closed, she laughs. It is pointed out to him that he did not marry Anna Karina, but Anna Karina-the Love-of-Godard. Twenty years ago, the Swiss filmmaker sent her a six-page letter when she was playing After the rehearsal, according to Bergman. She hasn't heard from him since. "He says that I am an ancient story, but for me, it is always in my heart, and will remain so for life."Karina died at the age of 79 on Saturday, December 14, 2019, at a hospital in Paris. According to her agent, Laurent Balandras, the cause of death was cancer. However, her husband, Dennis Berry, told that the cause was not cancer, but a complication following a muscular rupture.

Early Life

Hanne Karin Bayer (later known as Anna Karina) was born in Frederiksberg, Denmark. Her mother was a dress shop owner and her father left the family a year after she was born. Karina recalled she met her father three times:"The first time, I was 4 years old, he gave me a banana, I crunched and spat, because I didn't know that I had to remove the skin. The second time, I was still a minor, the meeting was at a train station in London, I was with Jean-Luc, and when he saw me, my father said to me: 'You miss a button' (sic). I yelled in Danish that he was no more my father than any guy in the station. And the third time was in 1963 in Barcelona, I was shooting The Thief of Tibidabo by Maurice Ronet. We have lunch together for twenty minutes, he was with one of his sons, Soren" who was "8 years old, he was very friendly, we talk about everything and Africa. I finally got to know him and I'm happy. He promises to write to me. And since then I wait, I wait, I wait. I'm still waiting for the postcard." She lived with her maternal grandparents for three years, then spent the next four years in foster care before returning to live with her mother. She has described her childhood as "terribly wanting to be loved", and as a child she made numerous attempts to run away from home. Her mother remarried, but her step-father was abusive.She began her career in Denmark, where she sang in cabarets and worked as a model playing in commercials. At age 14, she appeared in a Danish short film by Ib Schmedes, which won a prize at Cannes. In 1958, after a row with her mother, she hitchhiked to Paris.

Movies & TV Series

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