The star passed away early Tuesday (28Mar17) following a battle with leukaemia, her management told German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Her family had revealed over the weekend (25-26Jan17) that she was in a coma.

Kaufmann was born in 1945 in Lengdorf, which was then part of Nazi Germany, but is now in Austria, and began her film career aged seven. She became a well known child star in her country thanks to her role in 1954 drama Rose-Girl Resli.

She enjoyed international fame with films such as 1959's The Last of Days of Pompeii, 1961's Town Without Pity, which co-starred Kirk Douglas, and 1962's Escape from East Berlin. Kaufmann received the Golden Globe Award for new star of the year in 1961, making her the first German to win the honour.

She was also a businesswoman who launched a successful line of cosmetics as well as a series of health and beauty books and two autobiographies.

Kaufmann met American actor Tony Curtis on 1962 movie Taras Bulba and married him in 1963, when she was 18 and he was 20 years her senior. They had two daughters, Alexandra and Allegra, before divorcing in 1968. The actor married six times in total, most famously to Psycho star Janet Leigh, the mother of his actress daughters Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis.

Kaufmann married three more times to TV director Achim Lenz, from 1974 to 1976, musician/actor Reno Eckstein from 1979 and 1982, and illustrator Klaus Zey between 1997 and 2011, according to DW.com.