A strikingly beautiful German lead actress, Barbara Sukowa broke into TV and films as the protégée of famed director Rainer Werner Fassbinder with his masterpiece mini-series Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) and the moody film drama Lola (1981) in the title role. In the latter, Barbara won critical kudos portraying a cynical, manipulative singer/hooker who sets her sights on an unsuspecting town politician played by Armin Mueller-Stahl. Following Fassbinder’s sudden death in 1982, Barbara was gloriously displayed in a couple of stark, brilliant, politically-motivated films by director Margarethe von Trotta. In Marianne & Juliane (1981), Barbara won both the Venice Film Festival and German Film awards and as _Rosa Luxemburg (1986)_ , she copped the Cannes Film Festival award. A number of international productions, notably Lars von Trier’s Europa (1991), brought Barbara to the attention of Hollywood. Although not well known here by name, this fascinating figure has added her exotic allure to a number of American films including The Sicilian (1987), M. Butterfly (1993), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Cradle Will Rock (1999) and the just-completed Romance & Cigarettes (2005), which was written and directed by John Turturro. Barbara started up a second career as a concert vocalist in recent years, performing works by such classical composers as Arnold Schönberg, among others.
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