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Film

First German Golden Globe-winner Christine Kaufmann has died

She starred alongside some of Hollywood's most handsome actors in the early 1960s, such as Steve Reeves, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis - whom she married. Golden Globe-winning actress Christine Kaufmann has died, aged 72.

Actress Christine Kaufmann died early Tuesday at the age of 72, her management told German news agency dpa. 

Born on January 11, 1945, in Lengdorf, then part of Nazi Germany but now Austria, Kaufmann grew up in Munich and started her film career at the age of seven.

The 1954 West German drama "Rose-Girl Resli" turned the then nine-year-old child actress into a star in the country.

Her international fame came with films such as "The Last of Days of Pompeii" (1959), in which she starred with Steve Reeves, and "Town Without Pity" (1961), starring alongside Kirk Douglas. She won the Golden Globe Award for new star of the year in 1961, becoming the first German to obtain the honor.

A year later, she also starred in the West German - American co-production "Escape from East Berlin."

In 1963, at the age of 18, Kaufmann married US actor Tony Curtis, who was 20 years her senior. They had worked together on the film "Taras Bulba" (1962). They had two daughters, Alexandra and Allegra, before divorcing in 1968.

She was married three more times, to TV director Achim Lenz (1974-1976),  musician and actor Reno Eckstein (1979-1982) and illustrator Klaus Zey (1997-2011).

The actress was also a businesswoman promoting her successful line of cosmetics. She was called the "most beautiful grandmother in Germany."

After Kaufmann's family revealed to the press over the weekend that she was in a coma, actor Kirk Douglas, now 100 years old, sent out his thoughts to his former co-star: "She is one of the most charming and affectionate women I have ever met."

eg/kbm (with dpa)

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