Emmanuelle Riva, Oldest Oscar-Nominated Actress, Dies at 89

This year’s Academy Awards is already drumming up a lot of controversy due to the potential absence of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi who is already an Oscar winner this year.  President Trump’s immigration ban has caused an uproar and the Academy is just one organization who has issued a response to the new order.   Unfortunately another blow to the Oscars took place in the last 24 hours.  The oldest nominated actress in Oscars history, French legend Emmanuelle Riva, has died at the age of 89.

Riva, star of 1959 classic “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and more recently the oldest best actress Oscar nominee in a late-career revival, died Friday from cancer. She was 89. Riva died in Paris “after a long illness,” her agent, Anne Alvares Correa, told AFP. But Riva “was active until the end,” Correa added.

Riva had an acting and theater career that spanned over 60 years.  She was nominated at the age of 86 for best leading actress in the movie “Amour” which won best foreign film in 2013.

“Emmanuelle Riva had a deep impact on French cinema, whether it be with ‘Hiroshima mon Amour’ … to invoke a wounded memory or, with ‘Amour’ … to invoke the end of life,” said French President Francois Hollande. “She created intense emotion in all of the roles she embodied,” Hollande added.

Riva was born in 1927 and made her way to Paris at the young age of 19 despite her family’s opposition to it.  She was quickly spotted and cast in the movie “Hiroshima Mon Amour.”  The role made her an instant star and revered her to French fans.  Along with her beauty, Riva brought an incredibly distinct voice with her which carried her throughout her career.

In her later years she was more relegated to playing mothers and grandmothers but she never stopped acting.  And even despite her cancer, Riva still performed at the Villa Medici in Rome last autumn and completed filming on two films, one due out this March and another yet to be released.

Riva will be missed.

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