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Anouk Aimée: The Heroine of A Man and a Woman Leaves Us

Anouk Aimée, young, holds a cat in her arms in front of a blue sky

Anouk Aimée, unforgettable French actress, who starred among others in the film A Man and a Woman, has passed away at the age of 92. The news was announced by her daughter, Manuela Papatakis, on Instagram: "With my daughter, Galaad, and my granddaughter, Mila, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of my mother Anouk Aimée. I was right by her side when she passed away this morning, at home, in Paris."

Manuela Papatakis announces the death of her mother Anouk Aimée on Instagram

Born in 1932 in Paris under the name Françoise Dreyfus, Anouk Aimée began her film career at the age of 14. Her pseudonym, Anouk Aimée, was given to her by the famous poet Jacques Prévert. Aimée distinguished herself in significant works of the New Wave and beyond, working with renowned directors such as Federico Fellini, Claude Lelouch, Jacques Demy, and many others.

Anouk Aimée made her film debut in the 1940s, but it was in the 1960s that her career truly took off. She starred in major films such as La Dolce Vita and by Federico Fellini, Lola by Jacques Demy, and especially A Man and a Woman by Claude Lelouch, alongside Jean-Louis Trintignant. This last film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and earned her an Oscar nomination.

The couple, legendary from the famous film, reunited in the two sequels: 'A Man and a Woman: Twenty Years Later' (1986 festival), and then 'The Best Years of a Life' (2019 festival)
The couple, legendary from the famous film, reunited in the two sequels: ‘A Man and a Woman: Twenty Years Later’ (1986 festival), and then ‘The Best Years of a Life’ (2019 festival)

Beyond French cinema, Anouk Aimée also made her mark in American cinema, starring for Sydney Lumet in The Appointment and George Cukor in Justine. She collaborated with numerous Italian filmmakers, including Dino Risi and Sergio Corbucci, further cementing her status as an international icon.

Anouk Aimée did not consider herself an actress in search of a career, but rather someone who let opportunities come to her. This approach allowed her to create a considerable legacy in the world of cinema. In 2002, she received an honorary César from Claude Lelouch, in recognition of her long career.

Throughout her fabulous career, journalists attributed many liaisons to the discreet Anouk Aimée with personalities such as Jean Genet, Jean Cocteau, Raymond Queneau, Warren Beatty, and Omar Sharif… The reality is much less fanciful.

The unforgettable actress Anouk Aimée had acted in legendary films such as A Man and a Woman, 8½, and La Dolce Vita
The unforgettable actress Anouk Aimée had acted in legendary films such as A Man and a Woman, 8½, and La Dolce Vita

A great lover, she is said to have married four times. In February 1949, she married Edouard Zimmermann, a Parisian industrialist, but their marriage lasted only a year. From 1951 to 1958, she was married to Nikos Papatakis, father of her only daughter, Manuela, born in 1951.

In 1966, on the set of A Man and a Woman, Anouk Aimée met the singer-songwriter Pierre Barouh, who proposed to her. They divorced three years later. The British academic actor Albert Finney, who also had a long and prodigious career, was her last husband for eight years.

Anouk Aimée continued to work with Claude Lelouch, appearing in And Now My Love and in the sequel to A Man and a Woman, A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later. Her last appearance in cinema was in The Best Years of a Life in 2019.

Anouk Aimée remained resplendent despite the decades. She will also play the role of Napoleon's mother alongside Christian Clavier in the title role
Anouk Aimée remained resplendent despite the decades. She will also play the role of Napoleon’s mother alongside Christian Clavier in the title role

Anouk Aimée leaves behind a rich and varied cinematic legacy, having left her mark on the film industry through decades of unforgettable performances.

Her graceful presence, discreet elegance, and exceptional talent will continue to inspire future generations. Our thoughts are with her family, loved ones, and many film enthusiasts around the world.