24 february, 1927
Emmanuelle Riva (born 24 February 1927) is a French actress, best known for her roles in the films Hiroshima mon amour (1959), and Amour (2012). In 2013, Riva won the BAFTA Award and the Cesar Award for her role in Amour as Anne Laurent, and was nominated for an Academy Award for the same role. She is the oldest actress ever to have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She had previously been nominated for a BAFTA Award in 1960 for her role in Hiroshima mon amour and won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival in 1962 for Thérèse Desqueyroux.
Riva was born Paulette Germaine Riva in Cheniménil, France, and grew up in Remiremont. She was the only child of Jeanne (née Nourdin) and Alfredo Riva, a sign painter. Her father had Italian heritage. Riva moved to Paris at the age of 26 in 1953 from her home in rural France to become an actress, despite opposition from her family. She started her acting career on the Paris stage after having trained as a seamstress.
Her best known role was as Elle in Hiroshima mon amour (1959) directed by Alain Resnais and written by Marguerite Duras. Duras was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. She has also appeared in Kapò (1959), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film from Italy, Adua and her Friends, (1960) starring Simone Signoret, Leon Morin, Priest (1961) opposite Jean-Paul Belmondo and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, Thérèse Desqueyroux (1962), Thomas the Imposter (1965), Three Colours: Blue (1993) as the mother of Juliette Binoche, and Venus Beauty Institute (1999) alongside Micheline Presle.
In 2011, Riva appeared in Le Skylab starring and directed by Julie Delpy. In 2012 she received rave reviews and an Academy Award nomination for her role opposite Jean-Louis Trintignant in Amour. The 85th Academy Awards just happened to be held on her 86th birthday. Riva traveled to Los Angeles where she lost the award to Jennifer Lawrence. Riva tied with Lawrence for the LA Film Critics Best Actress Award, and also won the NSFC Best Actress Award among numerous other mentions for her performance.
Riva has enjoyed an extensive theatre career in her native Paris, France. Her last stage appearance was in a 2001 production of Medea at Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe. She has also appeared occasionally on French television programs.
While filming Hiroshima mon amour, Riva photographed Hiroshima; a half-century later these photographs were exhibited at the Nikon Salon and were issued in book form in France and Japan.
Riva is also a published poet.