In German films from the age of eight, sad-eyed leading lady Christine Kaufmann gained international recognition when she essayed the demanding role of a teenaged rape victim in 1961's Town Without Pity. The press of the period was less concerned with Kaufmann's histrionic skills than with the revealing bikini which she wore in her early scenes (some historian has incorrectly claimed that Kaufmann was the first actress ever to bare her navel on screen). While playing the heroine of the big-budget Taras Bulba (1962), Kaufmann fell in love with her co-star, Tony Curtis. They were married in 1963, then appeared together in the frothy Universal comedy Wild and Wonderful (1964). Briefly retiring from films after this project, Kaufmann returned to acting following the breakup of her marriage. She accepted choice supporting roles in major German films; her best showing was in the Percy Adlon-directed cult favorite Bagdad Cafe (1987). Kaufmann died in 2017, at age 72.