One can hardly overestimate the importance of French new wave cinema, especially the work of Jean-Luc Godard, for modern film art. And the biggest icon in Godard´s early and most important films was undoubtedly Danish actress Anna Karina.
Karina (b. Hanne Karin Blarke Bayer 1940) moved to Paris at the age of 18 and soon picked up a modelling career. She was only 19 when Godard spotted her and offered her a part in his 1959 masterpiece A bout de Souffle (Breathless). Karina turned down the role because Godard wanted her to be naked in the film.
A year later however she starred in Godard´s The Little Soldier which began a long collaboration between Karina and Godard who married in 1961. A Woman is a Woman, Vivre Sa Vie and Alphaville are all modern classics that came to define a whole new style of cinema with Karina becoming the absolute iconic figure of the time.
Godard and Karina divorced in 1965, though Karina continued to work as an actress as well as a director. She also had a notable singing career and in the late 1960´s scored a major hit with “Sous le soleil exactement” by Serge Gainsbourg.
Apart from her career in cinema, Karina has also written four novels.