Margit Carstensen in "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant" Source: Criterion Collection

German Actor Margit Cartensen, Known for Fassbinder Roles, Dies at 83


German stage and screen actor Margit Carstensen, star of iconic films by influential director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, has died aged 83, her agent said on Friday.

"She was one of the great Fassbinder stars," reports the German-language news outlet

Barrons (via AFP News) wrote that "Carstensen died on Thursday in a hospital near Hamburg, the agent said, after a long illness. She was best known for playing the titular role in Fassbinder's 1972 all-female 'The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant' -- a predatory narcissist who gets her comeuppance in an affair with a younger woman (Hanna Schygulla). The performance won her a German Film Award." She had met Fassbinder in 1969 when she moved to Bremen.

She would next make "Martha," a Fassbinder drama about an abusive marriage, followed by "Chinese Roulette" and "Women in New York," the German director's adaptation of "The Women." In a theatre career that saw her perform on the most prominent stages of Germany and Austria, Carstensen had a fruitful collaboration with iconoclastic director Christoph Schlingensief, who cast her as Magda Goebbels in "100 Years of Adolf Hitler".

According to ADP, her biggest commercial success came in 1999 with "Sonnenallee," a sweet-natured comedy about life in communist East Berlin in the 1970s.

Most recently, she joined Schygulla and Irm Hermann on the wildly popular German television crime series "Tatort" in which they portrayed a trio of older women who say they were morally compelled to murder.

In 2019 she accepted Germany's prestigious Goetz George lifetime achievement prize, with the jury praising her "intense and uncompromising performance."

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