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Nastassja Kinski

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Basic Information

Nastassja Kinski

Date of Birth: 24 January 1961
Place of Birth: Berlin, West Germany (now Germany)
Birth Name: Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski
Height: 5' 6½" (1.69 m)


Nastassja Kinski (born January 24, 1960 or 1961) is a German-born American-based actress who has appeared in more than 60 films. Her starring roles include her Golden Globe Award-winning portrayal of the title character in Tess and her roles in two erotic films (Stay As You Are and Cat People), as well as parts in Wim Wenders' films The Wrong Move; Paris, Texas; and Faraway, So Close!. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Kinski was widely regarded as an international sex symbol: Richard Avedon's photo of her, nude with a large python, was marketed as a poster.

Early life

Born in Berlin as Nastassja Aglaia Nakszyński on 24 January 1960 or 1961, Kinski is the daughter of the German actor Klaus Kinski from his marriage to actress Ruth Brigitte Tocki. Her parents divorced in 1968. Kinski rarely saw her father after the age of 10. Kinski and her mother struggled financially. They eventually lived in a commune in Munich.


Kinski's career began in Germany where she started as a model. After this the German New Wave actress Lisa Kreuzer placed her in the role of the dumb Mignon in Wim Wenders' film The Wrong Move. In 1976 she had her first major role in the feature length film and Wolfgang Petersen directed episode Reifezeugnis of the German TV crime series Tatort. Also in 1976, in her mid-teens, she starred in the British Hammer Film Productions' horror film To the Devil a Daughter (1976). Kinski has gained notoriety through nude appearances in these films while still a minor. This is linked to controversy as to the exact year of her birth (see above). She has stated that, as a child, she felt exploited by the industry and told a journalist from W Magazine, "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."

Kinski starred in Stay as you are (1978) with Marcello Mastroianni. New Line Cinema released it in the United States in December 1979, helping Kinski to get more recognition there. Time magazine said: "Kinski is simply ravishing, genuinely sexy and high-spirited without being painfully aggressive about it." 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, photographer Richard Avedon photographed Kinski with a serpent coiled around her naked body.

In 1982 Kinski appeared in One from the Heart, and Cat People, and then Unfaithfully Yours, and The Hotel New Hampshire. Paris, Texas won awards at Cannes, however, the film was not widely released in the United States. Kinski then 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 U.S. Kinski's luck turned in the 1990s when she appeared in films such as Terminal Velocity opposite Charlie Sheen, and Mike Figgis' One Night Stand.

In One From the Heart, director Francis Ford Coppola brought Kinski to the U.S. to act as a "Felliniesque circus performer to represent the twinkling evanescence of Eros. . . Kinski has one great moment in the film, when she seductively curls up in a giant neon-rimmed martini glass. . ." The film failed at the box office, and was a major loss for Coppola's new studio, Zoetrope. "In the wake of the dismal showing at the box office, . . . after less than two years in operation, Zoetrope Studios was for sale." It became "one of the biggest box office failures in modern cinema history."[relevant? – discuss] For the film, Coppola had built one of the most expensive move sets in the history of Hollywood: "His glittering, surreal re-creation of neon Las Vegas alone cost more than $6 million," notes movie historian Gene D. Phillips. Kinski commented about the set during an interview:

Other appearances have included Martin Donovan's Somebody Is Waiting (1996), Neil LaBute's Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), John Landis' Susan's Plan (1998), Chris Menges' The Lost Son (1999), Michael Winterbottom's The Claim (2000), and David Lynch's Inland Empire (2006).

She has not appeared in any films since her cameo in 'Inland Empire' in 2006.

Personal life

In 1976, Kinski started a romantic relationship with Roman Polanski, when she was 15 years old and he was 43 years old. In 1979, their relationship ended at the completion of filming Polanski's Oscar-nominated Tess, in which Kinski had played the lead role.

In the mid-1980s Kinski met Egyptian filmmaker Ibrahim Moussa. They married on September 10, 1984. They raised her son (by actor Vincent Spano), Aljosha (born 1984) and daughter, Sonja Kinski, now a model (born 1986). The marriage was dissolved in 1992. From 1992 until 1995 Kinski lived with musician Quincy Jones. In 1993, their daughter, Kenya Julia Miambi Sarah Jones, was born.

Kinski speaks German, French, English, Italian and Russian fluently.

Selected filmography

  • The Wrong Move (1975)
  • To the Devil a Daughter (1976)
  • Tatort: Reifezeugnis (1977)
  • Passion Flower Hotel (1978)
  • Così come sei (aka Stay As You Are) (1978)
  • Tess (1979)
  • One from the Heart (1982)
  • Cat People (1982)
  • Exposed (1983)
  • Moon in the Gutter (1983)
  • Maria’s Lovers (1984)
  • Paris, Texas (1984)
  • The Hotel New Hampshire (1984)
  • Unfaithfully Yours (1984)
  • Harem (1985)
  • Revolution (1985)
  • Torrents of Spring (1989)
  • The Sun Also Shines at Night (1990)
  • Faraway, So Close! (1993)
  • Terminal Velocity (1994)
  • Crackerjack (1994)
  • The Ring (1996)
  • Fathers' Day (1997)
  • One Night Stand (1997)
  • Bella Mafia (1997)
  • Little Boy Blue (1997)
  • Savior (1998)
  • Playing by Heart (1998)
  • Your Friends & Neighbors (1998)
  • The Intruder (1999)
  • The Claim (2000)
  • The Magic of Marciano (2000)
  • Time Share (2000)
  • An American Rhapsody (2001)
  • The Day the World Ended (2001)
  • Town & Country (2001)
  • .com for Murder (2002)
  • Paradise Found (2003)
  • À ton image (2004)
  • Inland Empire (2006)


  • Has a son, Aljosha (b. 1984), with Vincent Spano, and a daughter, Sonja Kinski (b. as Sonja Moussa in 1986), with Ibrahim Moussa.
  • Her daughter Kenya Julia Miambi Sarah Jones, with Quincy Jones, was born in 1993.
  • Is a vegetarian.
  • Daughter of 'Ruth Brigitte Tocki'.
  • Cousin of Lara Lamberti.
  • Supported the "International Red Cross" financially and in the media.
  • Nastassja Kinski spent some days in a German prison when a sin of youth caught up with her. She had used public transportation several times without paying, did not pay the fines, did not work in a hospital as she was sentenced to do by a juvenile court... In 1978 she was finally arrested. She spent 5 days in prison despite being already a celebrity at that time. After 5 days she was released early because of good conduct.
  • Some sources show she was born in 1959, but she claims 1961.
  • Shared an apartment with Demi Moore in the early 80s.
  • Prevented her ex-husband, Ibrahim Moussa, from having their son, Aljosha Kinski, circumcised when he turned 14 years-old in 1998.
  • Measurements: 33-23-33 1/2 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Is fluent in English, German, French, Italian and Russian.
  • Is of German origin.
  • Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988
  • Half-sister of Nikolai Kinski and Pola Kinski.
  • Has played a doctor in four films.
  • Battles with a form of narcolepsy and has stopped driving at night.
  • Went to school with INXS lead singer, Michael Hutchence.