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Anne Wiazemsky

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Anne Wiazemsky
Wiazemsky in Il seme dell'uomo (1969)
Born(1947-05-14)14 May 1947
Berlin, Germany
Died5 October 2017(2017-10-05) (aged 70)
Paris, France
Occupation(s)Actress, novelist
Years active1966–1988
(m. 1967; div. 1979)
RelativesFrançois Mauriac
(maternal grandfather)

Anne Wiazemsky (14 May 1947 – 5 October 2017) was a French actress and novelist. She made her cinema debut at the age of 18, playing Marie, the lead character in Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966). A year later she married the director Jean-Luc Godard and appeared in several of his films, including La Chinoise (1967), Week End (1967), and One Plus One (1968).

Her maternal grandfather was the novelist and dramatist François Mauriac.

Early life[edit]

Wiazemsky was born on 14 May 1947 in Berlin, Germany.[1] Her father Yvan Wiazemsky, a French diplomat, was a Russian prince who had emigrated to France following the Russian Revolution.[2] Her mother Claire Mauriac was the daughter of François Mauriac, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.[1]

Wiazemsky spent her early years abroad following her father's postings around the world, including Geneva and Caracas; she returned to Paris in 1962.[1][3] She graduated from the high school Ecole Sainte Marie de Passy in Paris.[1]



Wiazemsky made her on-screen acting debut at the age of 18, playing Marie, the lead character in Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) after being introduced to the director by the actress Florence Delay.[3] The film premièred at the 1966 Venice Film Festival where it won the OCIC (International Catholic Organization for Cinema) Award, the San Giorgio Prize, and the New Cinema Award.[4] It has been listed by critics as one of the great films of all time.[5] Filmmaker and Cahiers du Cinéma critic Jean-Luc Godard wrote a glowing review for the film, writing that "everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished...because this film is really the world in an hour and a half."[6]

Wiazemsky developed a relationship with Godard, and they married one year in 1967.[7] She starred in several of his films, including La Chinoise (1967), Week End (1967), and One Plus One (1968).

In the 1980s, she began to write and direct. In 1994, she co-wrote the script for U.S. Go Home, directed by Claire Denis, set in 1960s France. She began to direct television documentaries.[8]


In addition to acting, Wiazemsky wrote several novels, including Canines (1993), Une Poignée de Gens (1998), and Aux Quatre Coins du Monde (2001). Hymnes à l'Amour was filmed in 2003 as Toutes ces belles promesses (All the Fine Promises), directed by Jean-Paul Civeyrac and starring Valérie Crunchant and Bulle Ogier. Her novel Jeune Fille (2007) was based on her experience of starring in Au Hasard Balthazar.

In 2015, she wrote the novel Un An Après (“One Year After”), which chronicled her time shooting Godard's film La Chinoise to when their relationship soured. It was developed into the feature film Le Redoubtable by Michel Hazanavicius.[9][3][10]

Personal life[edit]

During the 1966 filming of Au Hasard Balthazar, director Robert Bresson proposed to her several times, but she refused.[11] In 1967, she married Jean-Luc Godard and starred in several of his films; the couple separated as early as 1970,[12] though the marriage officially ended in divorce in 1979.[11]

In 1971, Wiazemsky signed the Manifesto of the 343, which publicly declared she had an abortion as a way to advocate for reproductive rights; the procedure was illegal in France at the time.[8]


Wiazemsky died of breast cancer on 5 October 2017 at age 70.[11]


Actress (partial listing)[edit]

Year Title Role
1966 Au Hasard Balthazar Marie
1967 La Chinoise Veronique
Week End Une fille à la femme
1968 Teorema Odetta
Les Gauloises bleues L'infirmière
One + One Eve Democracy
1969 Il seme dell'uomo Dora
Pigsty Ida
1970 Wind from the East La révolutionnaire
1971 Raphael, or The Debauched One Diane
Vladimir et Rosa Ann
1972 Tout va bien Leftist woman
1973 The Train La fille-Mère
1973 George Who? George Sand
1974 La vérité sur l'imaginaire passion d'un inconnu Le christ-femme
1975 Die Auslieferung Nathalie Herzen
1976 Guerres civiles en France Elisabeth Dimitrieff
1978 Flesh Color La vendeuse
1979 L'enfant secret Elie
1980 Même les mômes ont du vague à l'âme La photographe
1983 Grenouilles Nora
1984 Rendez-vous L'administratrice
1988 Ville étrangère Stéphanie


  • 1989: Mon beau navire, Gallimard, Paris
  • 1991: Marimé, Gallimard, Paris
  • 1993: Canines, Gallimard, Paris
  • 1998: Une poignée de gens (1998 Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française), Gallimard, Paris, ISBN 2-07-074676-3
  • 2001: Aux quatre coins du monde, Gallimard, Paris
  • 2002: Sept garçons, Gallimard, Paris
  • 2004: Je m'appelle Elizabeth (Je m'appelle Élisabeth), Gallimard, Paris
  • 2007: Jeune Fille, Gallimard, Paris, ISBN 2-07-077409-0
  • 2009: Mon enfant de Berlin, Gallimard, Paris
  • 2012: Une année studieuse, Gallimard, Paris ISBN 978-2-07-045387-0
  • 2015: Un an après, Gallimard, Paris, ISBN 978-2-07-013543-1
Short stories
  • 1988: Des filles bien élevées, Gallimard, Paris
  • 2003: Les Visiteurs du soir (illustrations by Stanislas Bouvier)
  • 1992: Album de famille
  • 2000: Il était une fois... les cafés (photographs by Roger-Viollet)
  • 2000: Tableaux de chats
  • 2001: Venise (photographs by Jean Noël de Soye)
  • 1994: En habillant


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, Sam (5 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky, Film Star, Wife of Godard and Author, Dies at 70". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Anne Wiazemsky, actor, director and writer". The Irish Times. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Roberts, Sam (5 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky, Film Star, Wife of Godard and Author, Dies at 70". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Robert Bresson : Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 18 January 2015. The San Giorgio Prize was given from 1956 through 1967 for "artistic works that had been considered especially important for the progress of civilization."
  5. ^ Christie, Ian (September 2012). "The 50 Greatest Films of All Time". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute (BFI). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012.
  6. ^ Quandt, James (13 June 2005). "Au hasard Balthazar : Robert Bresson". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  7. ^ "French Film Director Wed". The Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 25 July 1967. p. IV-7. Retrieved 20 June 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b Williams, James S. (10 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  9. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (3 May 2016). "Jean-Luc Godard biopic in works from director of The Artist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  10. ^ Brody, Richard (19 April 2018). "A Bio-Pic of Jean-Luc Godard and His Second Wife, Anne Wiazemsky, That Betrays Its Source Material". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Shepherd, Jack (6 October 2017). "Anne Wiazemsky, author and muse to Jean Luc Goddard, dies aged 70". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  12. ^ Brody, Richard (7 October 2017). "Highlights from the Second Weekend of the New York Film Festival". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 October 2017.

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