Annie Girardot, a versatile French actress who played the doomed Milanese streetwalker in Luchino Visconti's "Rocco and His Brothers" and, moving easily from drama to comedy, became France's most popular actress of the 1970s, died on Monday in Paris. She was 79.
Her granddaughter, Lola Vogel, announced her death but did not state the cause.
Ms. Girardot had been treated for Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade and for the last two years had lived in a Paris nursing home. In France, she became the public symbol of the disease, and her daughter and granddaughter kept the public informed of her decline.
Ms. Girardot never achieved the international renown of Jeanne Moreau or Brigitte Bardot, but she overtook both of them in French popularity polls in 1972, a year after appearing in "To Die of Love." The film, about a schoolteacher who is driven to commit suicide after her love affair with a student comes to light, broke box-office records in France.