French actress and 60s icon Anouk Aimee dies at 92

French star Anouk Aimee, who died on Tuesday aged 92, cast a spell over a generation of film-goers with her doomed romance in Claude Lelouch's box-office smash "A Man and A Woman".

Her role as a lovelorn widow in the 1966 film famous for its "chabadabada, chabadabada" theme tune won her an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe for best actress and her entry into Hollywood.

Aimee's elegant sophistication had already made her a star of such European masterpieces as Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (1960) and "8 1/2" (1963), and she was unforgettable as the ageing showgirl in Jacques Demy's heartbreaking musical "Lola" (1961).

Fellini in particular revered her, saying her "face has the same intriguing sensuality as that of (Greta) Garbo, (Marlene) Dietrich or (Cindy) Crawford, these great mysterious queens, these priestesses of femininity.

"Anouk Aimee represents the kind of woman who worries you to death," he said.

That combination of "melancholy and passion" marked much of her remarkable career, with the American director Robert Altman bringing her out of retirement to rekindle her old spark with Marcello Mastroianni in the acclaimed "Pret a Porter" in 1994.

Fleeing Nazis

Born Francoise Dreyfus in Paris on April 27, 1932, Aimee was the scion of a theatrical family.

Her life was turned upside down when German troops marched into the city when she was eight. Her father was Jewish, putting the family in mortal danger, even though she was raised a Catholic.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
'Strategist of nonviolence': US civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson dies at 95
Richard Sherman, songwriter for ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Jungle Book’, dies aged 95
French singer, 60s pop culture icon Françoise Hardy dies at 80