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Anna Karina

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The actor who was central to the great French New Wave has died:

Anna Karina, the Danish-born actress who became a symbol of the French New Wave in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960s films, died on Saturday in Paris. She was 79.

The death was confirmed by France’s culture minister, Franck Riester, in a post on Twitter and by her agent, Laurent Balandras, who said the cause was cancer.

Making her first film in her teens, Ms. Karina started at the top: Godard’s “Le Petit Soldat” (“The Little Soldier”), about terrorism during the French-Algerian War. The film, shot in 1960, was not released until 1963 because of censorship. Between those two events, Ms. Karina won the 1961 best actress award at the Berlin International Film Festival for Godard’s “Une Femme Est Une Femme” (“A Woman Is a Woman”), in which she played an unmarried stripper who wants to have a baby.

Her other full-length Godard films, released between 1961 and 1966, were “Vivre Sa Vie” (“My Life to Live”), about a young woman who drifts into prostitution; “Bande à Part” (“Band of Outsiders”), a crime comedy about a romantic triangle and a burglary; “Pierrot le Fou,” a crime drama about a bored husband on the run with his former mistress, an arms smuggler; “Alphaville,” a science-fiction tale set in a loveless dystopian future; and “Made in U.S.A.,” a crime comedy set in Atlantic-Cité, a fictional French town.

Her presence in those movies will be permanently indelible. R.I.P.

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