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Emmanuelle Riva (1927 - 2017)

Guido Marzilla / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Emmanuelle Riva (1927 - 2017)

Emmanuelle Riva, the acclaimed French actress, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress in 2013, died Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, of cancer, according to multiple news sources. She was 89.

Riva was hailed by critics most recently for her moving performance in “Amour” (2013). She played Anne Laurent, an older music teacher who has a stroke and must be cared for by her husband, played by the legendary French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant. The film won several awards, including the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, for its unflinching portrayal of end-of-life issues. Riva was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress and won a British BAFTA Award and a French Cesar Award for her performance.

She is also known to cinema fans for her leading role in the film “Hiroshima Mon Amour” (1959). The film used unconventional flashbacks and nonlinear storytelling to explore the relationship between a French woman and a Japanese man. It was an influential part of the post-World War II French new wave film movement.


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Riva was born Paulette Germaine Riva Feb. 24, 1927, in Chenimenil, France. She moved to Paris in her 20s to pursue her dream of becoming an actress.

Other notable films in her long career include “Therese Desqueyroux” (1962), for which she won best actress at the Venice Film Festival, and “Three Colors: Blue” (1993), one of Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s most acclaimed films.

Riva never married, and she had no children.

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