Farewell, Nadia

French actress Annie Girardot (*1931) died. She is best remembered as the female protagonist of Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers (1960), playing the whimsical, passionate and seducing prostitute Nadia, who loves Rocco (Alain Delon) but who is brutally raped and later murdered by his brother Simone (Renato Salvatori, whom Girardot married in 1962). In the 1960s, Girardot played in several Italian films, such as I compagni (Mario Monicelli 1963), the episode film Le streghe (episode by Visconti, 1967), Metti, una sera a cena (Giuseppe Patroni Griffi 1969), and several films by Marco Ferreri: La donna scimmia (1964), Il seme dell’uomo (1969), and Dillinger è morto (1969). In the 1970s she occassionally returned to Italy for parts in films like L’ingorgo (Luigi Comencini 1978). Curiously enough, the Nouvelle Vague filmmakers didn’t adopt her like they had done with actors like Jeanne Moreau. Girardot had an extensive career in French film, though, winning the Coppa Volpi for best actress in Venice for her part in the Siménon adaptation Trois chambres à Manhattan (Marcel Carné 1965). In 1977 she won a César for best actress for her part in Dr. Françoise Galland (Jean-Louis Bertucelli 1975). In 1996 Girardot received a César for best supporting actress, for her role in Claude Lelouch’s Les Misérables. After that she also played the mother of Isabelle Huppert in La pianiste (2001) -for which she won another César in 2002 – and the mother of Daniel Auteuil in Caché (2005), both directed by Michael Haneke. During the making of Caché, first signs of Alzheimer became clear. Girardot never was ashamed about her illness and even permitted a documentary to be made about her (Ainsi va la vie by Nicolas Baulieu), but in the film she mentions being deeply grieved to mentally loose her friends and dear ones. Farewell, Nadia!

~ by Ivo Blom on March 1, 2011.

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