Tragic death of Russian screen siren

One of the few Russian actors to enjoy a career in Europe, the charismatic femme fatale Ekaterina Golubeva has died tragically in France at the age of 44.

­The St. Petersburg-born actress made her name in the 1990s playing in films by her husband, the cutting-edge Lithuanian film director Sharunas Bartas.

Together they made such psychological dramas as Three Days, Few of Us, The Corridor, which focused on such eternal matters as la raison-d’etre and the identity crisis.

Golubeva’s name came to be recognized internationally when her film, Few of Us, was screened at the world’s most prestigious festival, Cannes, back in 1996.

Her life and career took a robust turn after meeting the enfant terrible of French cinema Leos Carax, the creator of Boy Meets Girl and The Lovers on the Bridge, starring Juliette Binoche.

One of France’s brightest stars, Binoche was Carax’ muse whom he reportedly left after falling in love with Golubeva. He said he fell for the Russian actress after watching her film, Three Days.

Golubeva was quoted as saying that they met at a difficult time in their lives, when both were living through personal tragedies, Carax with Binoche and Golubeva with her husband.

With sea-deep eyes, she often found herself portraying “women on the verge of a nervous breakdown”, suicidal and depressed.

One such tragic character was Isabelle in Carax’ drama Pola X where Golubeva’s screen partners were Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu’s son Guillaume, who died from pneumonia in 2008.

She was not afraid of controversy, appearing in explicit sex scenes like those in Bruno Dumon’s film Twenty-nine Palms, set in California.

Among her latest titles were the dramas American Widow and The Funeral Party.

A mother of three children and one of Russia’s sexiest stars, Golubeva will be buried at the legendary Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. The cause of her death remains unknown.

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