Anne Wiazemsky, the actress best known as the star of “Au Hasard Balthazar” and for her appearances in French New Wave movies, has died at 70 after a battle with breast cancer. Her brother confirmed the news with the AFP. Wiazemsky was the second wife of Jean-Luc Godard and appeared in his 1967 dramas “La chinoise” and “Week End.”
The actress got her breakthrough in 1966 when Robert Bresson cast her in the lead role of Marie in “Au Hasard Balthazar.” The film memorably chronicled the relationship between the character, a shy farm girl, and her beloved donkey as they grow old and drift apart. Wiazemsky was only 18 year old when she appeared in the movie but became an instant favorite of Bresson. Her acting career continued until the late 1980s and she starred in films directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini (“Teorema,” “Pigsty”) and Philippe Garrel (“L’enfant secret”).
Most recently, Wiazemsky had a career as a celebrated author. Her 2012 novel “Un an après” focuses on her relationship with Godard and was the primary source material for Michel Hazanavicius’ “Redoubtable,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Wiazemsky was in attendance at Cannes and gave Hazanavicius her blessing as long as he was committed to keeping the film humorous.