Nico was one of the most fascinating and mysterious women of the multimedia revolution of The Sixties, and long after that till the present day. She was born on October 16th, 1938, in Cologne, in Nazi-controlled Germany. At the age of two she was taken to the little town of Spreewald on the outskirts of Berlin where she lived together with her mother and grandfather, a railway man, through the end of World War II. Her father died in a concentration camp.

At 15 she was sent to the Isle of Ibiza on assignment and met the photographer who gave her the name Nico after a recently departed boyfriend of his, called Nico Papatakis. Later on she also met him as the owner of a night-club in Paris. She first appeared in For the First Time, starring Mario Lanza and directed by Rudolph Maté in a short scene shot in Capri between June and November 1958. At Ibiza Nico began a lifelong involvement with the isle. On holidays at a friend’s villa in Rome, Nico was invited to the set of La Dolce Vita. Fellini noticed her standing off in a corner and offered her a sizable role in the film on the spot. It was 1959.

In 1960 Nico went to New York to model and enrolled in Lee Strassberg’s Method School, joining the same class as Marilyn Monroe, in preparation for a career as a serious actress. In November 1962 she had a big role in a French movie called Strip-Tease, where she did an act with a doll on stage at a club. She made her very first recording with Serge Gainsbourg producing the title song Strip-Tease, but it was Juliette Gréco’s version that was released instead.

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