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Nastassja Kinski

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Nastassja Kinski

Nastassja Kinski
Nastassja Kinski in 2009
Born Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski
(1961-01-24) 24 January 1961
Berlin, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Ibrahim Moussa (m. 1984–92)
Partner(s) Quincy Jones (1992–1995)
Children 3
Parents Klaus Kinski
Ruth Brigitte Tocki
Relatives Pola Kinski (half sister)
Nikolai Kinski (half-brother)

Nastassja Aglaia Kinski (born 24 January 1961)[1][2] is a German actress and former model who has appeared in more than sixty films in Europe and the United States.

Kinski's starring roles include the title character in Tess (1979), for which she won a Golden Globe Award, and her role in Paris, Texas (1984), which won numerous awards. It is one of a number of films she made with German director Wim Wenders. The daughter of the actor Klaus Kinski, she began her career as a model.

Early life

Born in Berlin as Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski,[3] Kinski is the daughter of the German actor Klaus Kinski[4] and his wife, actress Ruth Brigitte Tocki.[5] She is of part Polish descent.[6] Kinski has two half-siblings; Pola and Nikolai Kinski. Her parents divorced in 1968.

In a 1999 interview, Kinski denied that her father had sexually 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 tried with her, but did not succeed. She said:

"He was no father. 99 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]

After the age of ten, Kinski rarely saw her father. Her mother struggled financially to support them.[7] They eventually lived in a commune in Munich.


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 dumb Mignon in Wim Wenders film The Wrong Move. 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.

She has said that during this period, she felt exploited by the industry. In an interview with W magazine 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."[11]

In 1978 Kinski starred in the Italian romance Stay As You Are (Cosi come sei) with Marcello Mastroianni, gaining her recognition in the United States after New Line Cinema released it there in December 1979. Time magazine wrote that she was "simply ravishing, genuinely sexy and high-spirited without being painfully aggressive about it."[12] Director Roman Polanski urged Kinski to study acting with Lee Strasberg in the United States and cast her in his film, Tess (1979).

In 1981 Richard Avedon photographed Kinski with a Burmese python coiled around her nude body. The image was marketed as a poster.[5]

In 1982 she starred in Francis Ford Coppola's romantic musical One from the Heart, her first film made in the United States. She was also in the erotic horror movie Cat People. Dudley Moore's comedy Unfaithfully Yours and an adaptation of John Irving's The Hotel New Hampshire followed in 1984.

Paris, Texas (1984), one of her most acclaimed films to date, won the top award at the Cannes Film Festival. During 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.

Kinski has appeared in a number of American films including the action movie Terminal Velocity, opposite Charlie Sheen, and Mike Figgis and the 1997 adultery tale One Night Stand.

Nastassja Kinski in 1989

In One From the Heart, director Francis Ford Coppola brought Kinski to the U.S.[13] Texas Monthly described her as acting "as a Felliniesque circus performer to represent the twinkling evanescence of Eros."[14] The film failed at the box office and was a major loss for Coppola's new Zoetrope Studios.

Other work has included Somebody Is Waiting (1996), Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), John Landis' Susan's Plan (1998), The Lost Son (1999), and Inland Empire (2006).

Personal life

In 2001, Kinski revealed that she suffered from narcolepsy in an interview for the The Daily Telegraph.[15]


In 1976, when Kinski was 15, she reportedly began a romantic relationship with then 43-year-old director Roman Polanski.[16][17][18][19][20] In a 1999 interview, she said, "There was categorically no affair... There was a flirtation. There could have been a seduction, but there was not. He had respect for me."[7]

Marriage and children

In the mid-1980s Kinski met the Egyptian filmmaker Ibrahim Moussa. They married on 10 September 1984. They have two children together; a son Aljosha (born 1984),[21] and daughter Sonja Kinski (born 1986), who works as a model and actress. The marriage was dissolved in 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.[22] In 1993 they had a daughter, Kenya Julia Miambi Sarah Jones.[23]

Awards and nominations

Selected filmography

Kinski at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival.


  1. ^ John Sandford (ed) (2001), Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture (Routledge world reference): 340
  2. ^ "Der Spiegel report on Kinski". 15 March 1961. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  3. ^ The Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia
  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. ^
  7. ^ a b c "Daddy's Girl". London: Guardian. 3 July 1999. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Jackson, Patrick (10 January 2013). "'"German actor Klaus Kinski 'abused his daughter Pola.  
  9. ^ Roxborough, Scott (9 January 2013). "Klaus Kinski's Daughter Claims He Sexually Abused Her".  
  10. ^ Biss, Malta (13 January 2013). "Jetzt spricht Nastassja".  
  11. ^ Nastassja Kinski interview with Louise Farr. "Kinski Business", W, May 1997.
  12. ^ R.S. (21 January 1980). "Cinema: Bedrock Taboo". TIME. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Coppola, Francis Ford; Phillips, Gene D.; Hill, Rodney. Francis Ford Coppola: Interviews, Univ. Press of Mississippi, (2004) p. 136
  14. ^ Texas Monthly, March 1982 p. 175
  15. ^ Jenkins, David (8 January 2001). "Kith and Kinski". London:  
  16. ^ Lester, Peter (13 April 1981). "After 'Tess' and Roman Polanski, Nastassia Kinski Trades Notoriety for L.A. Propriety". Time Magazine. 
  17. ^ Curtis, Bryan (3 October 2009). "Roman's Holiday Where has Polanski been hiding?". Slate Magazine. 
  18. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (1 March 2003). "Roman Polanski: Cinema's demonic chronicler of the Holocaust". London: The Independent. 
  19. ^ Goodwin, Christopher (13 April 2008). "Wanted and Desired: a film that has shone new light on a murky affair". London: TimesOnline UK. 
  20. ^ Sandford, Christopher (25 August 2007). "The dark secrets of Roman Polanski". London: The Los Angeles Times. 
  21. ^ "An Exultant Nastassja Kinski Shows Off Her Healthy Son—and Her Future Husband". People. 23 July 1984. 
  22. ^ Daily Bruin, Monday, 16 January 1995, p. 8
  23. ^ Docherty, Cameron (26 September 1997). "Nastassja Kinski: Still a daddy's girl". London: Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  24. ^ Ellis, Bill. Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media, The University Press of Kentucky, 2000, p. 159
  25. ^ Bach, Hans-Michael; Tim Bergfelder. The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopedia of German Cinema, Berghahn Books, 2009, p. 360
  26. ^ "Cosi' come sei (1978)". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Mazierska, Ewa Nabokov's Cinematic Afterlife MacFarland and Company Jefferson, North Carolina 2011 page 48

External links


  • "One From the Heart" video clip, 5 min.
  • Photo slide show video, 3 min.
  • David Letterman show part 1
  • David Letterman show, part 2, discussing early career and director Roman Polanski
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