It was reported this morning that iconic French actress Emmanuelle Riva has died, allegedly of cancer. Riva is most well-known for her performance in the critically-acclaimed 2012 French film Amour, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, and won a BAFTA and César Award.
As a young girl in France, Riva was initially encouraged by her father to audition for a school theatre productions. Ironically, her strict Italian father would later on greatly discourage Riva from pursuing acting as a career. But after years of working as seamstress, at age 26 she left her rural French town to pursue her dreams of being an actress in Paris.
Her most well-known performance aside from Amour is in Hiroshima mon amor, a 1959 French film nominated for Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards that year, and considered a classic film of the French New Wave movement. The story followed a French actress, who while filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima, has an affair with a married Japanese architect.
Riva also had an extensive theatre career in Paris, where she appeared in many stage productions throughout her life. She also published books of poetry.
Riva never married nor had any children, but instead led a very led a rather private life with her partner until their death in 1999. Since then, she has lived in Paris, but continued traveling for work up until last summer, when she made a film in Iceland called, Alma, as well as performed at the Villa Medici in Rome.