'Amour' actress Emmanuelle Riva dies at 89

Riva never married or had children, and lived for 54 years up the same 4th-floor, walk-up flat on a bustling street in Paris's Latin Quarter.

Emmanuelle Riva, a French star of screen and stage who was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress in 2013, has died.

Riva was born on February 24, 1927 in rural France and made her way to Paris at 19 to the dismay of her working-class family. Ironically, her strict Italian father would later on greatly discourage Riva from pursuing acting as a career.

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French President Francois Hollande said via statement that the actress "deeply marked French cinema". She was notorious for declining roles, preferring to take on challenging characters who differed from anyone she had played before, rather than sticking to more commercial offerings.

That's where famed French New Wave pioneer Alain Resnais spotted her, and he quickly cast her in her first leading feature role in "Hiroshima Monday Amour".

More recently Riva appeared in 2011's Le Skylab, which was directed by Julie Delpy, and received rave reviews for her role as Anne Laurent in Michael Haneke's 2012 film Amour. She played a similar enigma in Franju's Thérèse Desqueyroux, portraying a woman who lashes out at her hapless husband and unhappy existence in subtle, deadly ways.

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Riva was still working up until a year ago, shooting for upcoming film Alma which is still being filmed and edited, and will also appear on the big screen in Paris Pieds Nus (Paris Barefoot) being released in France in March. She lost out to Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence, although Amour did win Best Foreign Language Film. "Everybody knows there are very few roles for older actresses".

"They say "go into the skin of a character", that sounds a bit stupid, but in fact, it's exactly that, with all the flesh and spirit, and heart".

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