Nastassja Kinski

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nastassja Kinski
Kinski in 2017
Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski

(1961-01-24) 24 January 1961 (age 62)
Occupation(s)Actress, model
Years active1975–present
Ibrahim Moussa
(m. 1984; div. 1992)
Partner(s)Quincy Jones
Children3; including Sonja Kinski and Kenya Kinski-Jones

Nastassja Aglaia Kinski (German: [nasˈtasi̯a ˈkɪnskiː] ; née Nakszynski, Polish: [nakˈʂɨj̃skʲi]; born 24 January 1961)[1][2] is a German actress and former model who has appeared in more than 60 films in Europe and the United States. Her worldwide breakthrough was with Stay as You Are (1978). She then came to global prominence with her Golden Globe Award-winning performance as the title character in the Roman Polanski-directed film Tess (1979). Other films in which she acted include the erotic horror film Cat People (1982) and the Wim Wenders dramas Paris, Texas (1984) and Faraway, So Close! (1993). She also appeared in the biographical drama film An American Rhapsody (2001). She is the daughter of German actor Klaus Kinski.

Early life[edit]

Kinski was born in West Berlin as Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski.[3] She is the daughter of renowned German actor Klaus Kinski[4] and his second wife, actress Ruth Brigitte Tocki.[5] She is of partial Polish descent, for her grandfather Bruno Nakszynski was a Germanized ethnic Pole.[6] Kinski has two half-siblings: Pola and Nikolai Kinski. Her parents divorced in 1968. After the age of 10, Kinski rarely saw her father. Her young mother struggled financially to support them;[7] they eventually lived in a commune in Munich.

In a 1999 interview, Kinski denied that her father had molested her as a child, but said he had abused her "in other ways".[7] In 2013, when interviewed about the allegations of sexual abuse made by her half-sister Pola Kinski,[8][9] she confirmed that he attempted this with her, but did not succeed. She said, "He was no father. Ninety-nine percent of the time I was terrified of him. He was so unpredictable that the family lived in constant terror." When asked what she would say to him now, if she had the chance, she replied, "I would do anything to put him behind bars for life. I am glad he is no longer alive."[10]


Kinski began working as a model as a teenager in Germany. Actress Lisa Kreuzer of the German New Wave helped get her the role of the mute Mignon in Wim Wenders 1975 film The Wrong Move,[11] in which at the age of 13 she was depicted topless.[11][12] She later played one of the leading roles in Wenders' film Paris, Texas (1984) and appeared in his film Faraway, So Close (1993).

In 1976, while still a teenager, Kinski had her first two major roles: in Wolfgang Petersen's feature film-length episode Reifezeugnis of the German TV crime series Tatort. Next, she appeared in the British horror film To the Devil a Daughter (1976), produced by Hammer Film Productions, which was released in the UK just 40 days after Kinski's fifteenth birthday, making it a virtual certainty she was only fourteen when her scenes were shot (including full frontal nudity). In regards to her early films, Kinski has stated that she felt exploited by the industry. In an interview with W, she said, "If I had had somebody to protect me or if I had felt more secure about myself, I would not have accepted certain things. Nudity things. And inside it was just tearing me apart."[13]

In 1978, Kinski starred in the Italian romance Stay as You Are (Così come sei) with Marcello Mastroianni, gaining her recognition in the United States after New Line Cinema released it there in December 1979. Time wrote that she was "simply ravishing, genuinely sexy and high-spirited without being painfully aggressive about it."[14] The film also received a major international release from Columbia Pictures.

Kinski met the director Roman Polanski at a party in 1976.[15] He urged her to study method acting with Lee Strasberg in the United States and she was offered the title role in Polanski's upcoming film, Tess (1979). In 1978, Kinski underwent extensive preparation for the portrayal of an English peasant girl, which included acquiring a Dorset accent through elocution studies:

I was given the book almost a year prior to read, I then had to transform myself and lose my German accent completely. I worked with a coach from the National Theatre in London, Kate Fleming. It was almost an intellectual voyage. [...] I went to live in the countryside of the deep part of England, on a farm, did everything they did, and learned it. When the time came in Paris to do my test, it was with our director and our producers Claude Berri and Timothy Burrill, I had done a screen test with Roman prior to that, for Dino DeLaurentis, but now this was for Tess. Preparation is an amazing thing. It, somehow, after all the work, carries you if you are fully present, it carries you through like a bird, like big inner and outer wings.[16]

Nastassja Kinski with John Savage and Yoni S. Hamenachem on the set of Maria's Lovers (1984)

The film was nominated for six awards, including Best Picture, at the 53rd Academy Awards, and won three.

In 1981, Richard Avedon photographed Kinski with a Burmese python coiled around her nude body.[5] The image, which first appeared in the October 1981 issue of US Vogue, was released as a poster and became a best-seller, further confirming her status as a sex symbol.[17]

In 1982, she starred in Francis Ford Coppola's romantic musical One from the Heart, her first film made in the United States.[18] Texas Monthly described her as acting "as a Felliniesque circus performer to represent the twinkling evanescence of Eros."[19] The film failed at the box office and was a major loss for Coppola's new Zoetrope Studios. That year, she was also in the erotic supernatural horror movie Cat People. On December 29, 1982, Kinski made a puzzling appearance on the program Late Night with David Letterman, seeming somewhat oblivious to the jokes and everything else that was going on around her and appearing with an unusual hair style Letterman described as "looking like there was an owl perched on top of her head." (Letterman's second guest, John Candy, came out with his own hair moussed up in a pile as a spoof of Kinski's hair.)

Dudley Moore's comedy Unfaithfully Yours and an adaptation of John Irving's The Hotel New Hampshire followed in 1984.

Nastassja Kinski in 1989
Kinski at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival
Nastassja Kinski in July 2015

Kinski reteamed with Wenders for the 1984 film Paris, Texas. One of her most acclaimed films to date, it won the top award at the Cannes Film Festival. Throughout the 1980s, Kinski split her time between Europe and the United States, making Moon in the Gutter (1983), Harem (1985) and Torrents of Spring (1989) in Europe, and Exposed (1983), Maria's Lovers (1984), and Revolution (1985) in the United States.

During the 1990s, Kinski appeared in a number of American films, including the action movie Terminal Velocity opposite Charlie Sheen, the Mike Figgis 1997 adultery tale One Night Stand, Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), John Landis's Susan's Plan (1998), and The Lost Son (1999).[20]

Her most recent films include David Lynch's Inland Empire (2006) and Rotimi Rainwater's Sugar (2013). In 2016, she competed in the German Let's Dance show.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In 1976, when Kinski was aged 15, it was speculated that there had been a romantic relationship with director Roman Polanski, who at the time was 43.[22][23][24][25] Polanski confirmed the relationship in a 1994 interview with Diane Sawyer: "...what about Nastassja Kinski? She was young and we had a love affair."[26] However, in a 1999 interview in The Guardian, Kinski was quoted as saying that there was no affair and that, "There was a flirtation. There could have been a seduction, but there was not. He had respect for me."[7]

Kinski has three children from different relationships. Her first child, son Aljosha Nakszynski (born 29 June 1984), was fathered by actor Vincent Spano, her co-star in Maria's Lovers.[27] On 10 September 1984, Kinski married Egyptian filmmaker Ibrahim Moussa, with whom she had daughter Sonja Kinski (born 2 March 1986). The marriage was dissolved in July 1992. From 1992 until 1995, Kinski lived with musician Quincy Jones, though she kept her own apartment on Hilgard Avenue, near UCLA, at the time.[28] They had a daughter, Kenya Julia Niambi Sarah Jones (born 9 February 1993),[29] a model known professionally as Kenya Kinski-Jones.[30]

In 1997, Kinski dated married producer Jonathan D. Krane during a brief separation from his wife, actress Sally Kellerman.[31] Over the course of her career, Kinski has also been romantically linked with Paul Schrader, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Rob Lowe, Jon Voight, Gérard Depardieu, Dudley Moore, Miloš Forman and Wim Wenders.[32] As of 2012, she was dating actor Rick Yune.

In 2001, Kinski stated in an interview in The Daily Telegraph that she was affected by the sleep disorder narcolepsy.[33]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Nastassja Kinski awards
Awards won 10
Nominations 18

The awards and nominations received by Nastassja Kinski include one Art Film Fest Award, one Bambi Award, two Bravo Ottos (out of three nominations), two Deutscher Filmpreis Awards (also out of three nominations), one Golden Globe (out of two nominations), one Jupiter Award, one Nastro d'Argento Award and one Wine Country Film Festival Award.

Among others, her achievements in film industry include also two César Awards nominations, one Globo d'oro nomination, and one Saturn Award nomination.

Acting awards[edit]

Bambi Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1978 Tatort: "Reifezeugnis"
  • Best Young Actress
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Bravo Otto Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1977 Herself
  • Movie Star – Female
1978 Won
1979 Runner-up
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

César Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1980 Tess Nominated
1988 Maladie d'amour Nominated
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Deutscher Filmpreis Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1975 The Wrong Move (aka Wrong Movement)
  • Best Performance by an Ensemble [A]
1983 Spring Symphony
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
1985 Paris, Texas Nominated
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Globo d'oro Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1990 The Secret
  • Best Actress
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Golden Globe Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1980 Tess Won
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Jupiter Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1978 Herself
  • Best International Actress
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Nastro d'Argento Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1985 Maria's Lovers Won
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Saturn Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
1982 Cat People Nominated
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Wine Country Film Festival Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
2000 The Magic of Marciano
  • Best Actress [B]
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Career achievement awards[edit]

Art Film Fest Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
2005 Herself Honored
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.

Moscow International Film Festival

Year Category Result
2018 Stanislavsky Award Honored
Note: Awards are listed in order of the effective years, annual ceremonies are usually held the following.



  1. ^ John Sandford (ed.) (2001), Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture (Routledge world reference): 340
  2. ^ "Der Spiegel report on Kinski". See Spiegel. 15 March 1961. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  3. ^ Welsh, James M.; Phillips, Gene D.; Hill, Rodney F. (27 August 2010). The Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810876514.
  4. ^ Davidson, John E. Deterritorializing the New German Cinema, Regents of the University of Minnesota, 1999, p. 80
  5. ^ a b c d Welsh, James Michael; Gene D. Phillips; Rodney Hill. The Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia, Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press Inc., 2010, p. 154
  6. ^ "Obituaries - Klaus Kinski, Polish-Born Actor Who Starred in Werner Herzog Films - Seattle Times Newspaper".
  7. ^ a b c "Daddy's Girl". The Guardian. London. 3 July 1999. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  8. ^ Jackson, Patrick (10 January 2013). "German actor Klaus Kinski 'abused his daughter Pola'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  9. ^ Roxborough, Scott (9 January 2013). "Klaus Kinski's Daughter Claims He Sexually Abused Her". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  10. ^ Biss, Malta (13 January 2013). "Jetzt spricht Nastassja". Bild. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  11. ^ a b Jenkins, David (6 February 2015). "Nastassja Kinski interview: 'I've had such low self-esteem'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  12. ^ Dollar, Steve (1 March 2015). "Fresh Takes on Director Wim Wenders". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  13. ^ Nastassja Kinski interview with Louise Farr. "Kinski Business", W, May 1997.
  14. ^ R.S. (21 January 1980). "Cinema: Bedrock Taboo". TIME. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  15. ^ "After 'Tess' and Roman Polanski, Nastassia Kinski trades notoriety for L.A. Propriety". People. 13 April 1981. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Working From The Heart: The Career of Nastassja Kinski". Roger Ebert. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  17. ^ Savill, Richard (2009). "Nastassja Kinski snake print to go on sale". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  18. ^ Coppola, Francis Ford; Phillips, Gene D.; Hill, Rodney. Francis Ford Coppola: Interviews, Univ. Press of Mississippi, (2004) p. 136
  19. ^ Texas Monthly, March 1982 p. 175
  20. ^ "Nastassja Kinski". IMDb. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  21. ^ Schauspielerin Nastassja Kinski, hier beim 11. Semperopernball in Dresden, wagt sich bei „Let's Dance" aufs Parkett : Die ersten Kandidaten für die neunte Staffel der Tanzshow „Let's Dance" stehen fest: Schauspielerin Nastassja Kinski, Schlagersänger Michael Wendler, Sängerin Sarah Lombardi und Moderator Niels Ruf,; accessed 19 December 2016.(in German)
  22. ^ Lester, Peter (13 April 1981). "After 'Tess' and Roman Polanski, Nastassia Kinski Trades Notoriety for L.A. Propriety". Time Magazine.
  23. ^ Curtis, Bryan (3 October 2009). "Roman's Holiday Where has Polanski been hiding?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  24. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (1 March 2003). "Roman Polanski: Cinema's demonic chronicler of the Holocaust". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009.
  25. ^ Goodwin, Christopher (13 April 2008). "Wanted and Desired: a film that has shone new light on a murky affair". London, UK: TimesOnline UK.
  26. ^ "Roman Polanski interviewed by Diane Sawyer on Primetime, 1994". 2 September 2007.
  27. ^ Kinski: No añoro el cine Marta Cervera Barcelona, El Periódico de Catalunya, 16 December 2011
  28. ^ Daily Bruin, Monday, 16 January 1995, p. 8
  29. ^ "Lifestyles of the Rich and Babied: Seems many celebrities have joined the parenthood club. How do they manage their mega-busy lives?". Los Angeles Times. 11 April 1993.
  30. ^ Simon, Samantha (15 February 2007). "13 Things to Know About Our Style Crush Kenya Kinski-Jones". InStyle. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  31. ^ New York Daily News, January 7, 1998
  32. ^ "Companions for Nastassja Kinski". Turner Classic Movies.
  33. ^ Jenkins, David (8 January 2001). "Kith and Kinski". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  34. ^ Ellis, Bill. Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media, The University Press of Kentucky, 2000, p. 159
  35. ^ Bock, Hans-Michael; Tim Bergfelder. The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopedia of German Cinema, Berghahn Books, 2009, p. 360
  36. ^ "Cosi' come sei (1978)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2009. Archived from the original on 13 November 2009.
  37. ^ Mazierska, Ewa Nabokov's Cinematic Afterlife, MacFarland and Company Jefferson, North Carolina 2011 p. 48

External links[edit]