Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
New Star of the Year - Female
The long-estranged daughter of the late film star Klaus Kinski, German actress Nastassja Kinski began her career in her teens. According to most sources, her first film was director Wim Wenders' The Wrong Move (1975), although there is evidence that a German television movie directed by Wolfgang Petersen, For Your Love Only (1976), was produced first. Still not yet 20, Kinski fell in love with the much-older filmmaker Roman Polanski, who subsidized her acting training. After taking drama classes in New York and London, Kinski was deemed ready by Polanski to star in Tess (1980), a lavishly produced adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Shortly thereafter, Kinski became the dream of male college undergraduates everywhere by posing for a Richard Avedon poster wearing nothing but a large, live python which spiralled around her body.
Kinski's next few films tended to capitalize on her physical attributes rather than her very real talent; in Cat People (1982), directed by her then-lover Paul Schrader, the actress' character transformed into a panther after having sex; and in Exposed (1983), she participated in one of the goofiest moments of screen erotica in history when co-star Rudolf Nureyev "played" her body with a cello bow. Compared to scenes like these, Kinski's appearance as Dudley Moore's wife in Unfaithfully Yours (1984) was downright puritanical -- but it was back to the bizarre with her role as a woman dressed in a bear suit in The Hotel New Hampshire (1985). At this point, Kinski's film output was getting a bit too beyond the fringe for most filmgoers, and she spent much of the next decade in "artistic" movies of little box-office appeal (Torrents of Spring , Faraway, So Close ). For a brief time, she remained in the public eye thanks to several well-publicized romances and because she gave birth to a baby without (at first) revealing the name of the father, allowing the world press to go into an torrent of speculation (the father turned out to be Egyptian producer Ibrahim Moussa, who briefly became her husband). In the early '90s, Kinski dropped from view altogether, devoting herself to her marriage to pop-music maestro Quincy Jones. In 1994, Kinski made a surprising reappearance in the "normal" role of a KGB agent in the popular movie thriller Terminal Velocity (1994) -- managing to remain clothed in her big scene, in which she was locked inside the trunk of a car and thrown from a plane in flight.