The Danish-French actress Anna Karina, best known for Jean-Luc Godard films, died at the age of 79. Her agent announced this on social media on Sunday.

Karina died on Saturday afternoon in Paris from the effects of cancer. "We are losing a great woman, a free artist, an icon of world cinema and music," writes agent Laurent Balandras on Facebook.

The actress became known as the young twenties in the sixties. She became the muse of Godard, one of the founders of the influential nouvelle vague movement. Early in her career, in 1961, she was named best actress at the Berlin film festival, for Godards Une femme est une femme . Later she appeared in the Godard films Bande à part, Alphaville and Pierrot le fou . In the latter, she played the beloved of protagonist Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Together with star actor Marcello Mastroianni, Karina was featured in the book film The Stranger by Luchino Visconti. The German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder later cast the actress for Chinese Roulette .