On the surface, model and actress Annalise Braakensiek, who was found dead in her Sydney home on Jan. 6, had a glamorous, enviable life. But the charismatic beauty, 46, had suffered private moments of darkness her entire life, going back to early childhood.
She’d endured the pain of growing up without her biological father, Norwegian yachtsman Odd Karlsen.
“For years, I was desperate to find my dad,” Annalise, then 27, revealed in 2000, after she was finally reunited with her father, Odd Karlsen, then 74.
Odd and Annalise’s mother Vera split up when she was just 6 months old and she didn’t see him for more than two decades.
In a cruel twist of fate, both Annalise and Oslo-born Odd Karlsen lived only kilometres away from each other in Sydney. “But neither of us knew where the other was,” Annalise said. Annalise, who carried the surname of the man her mum later married, had always yearned to see her father again.
“Despite my successful career, I still felt so incomplete. I felt such a yearning to find my dad,” she revealed.
Father and daughter were finally reunited after Odd left an emotional message on her answering machine: “Hello Annalise, I believe I’m your father. I might add that I’m as nervous as a schoolboy on his first date.”
“I played that message over and over again,” Annalise recalled.
Later, she was devastated when, in 2004, her “beautiful Papa Bear” died after a lengthy illness, aged 78.
Breaking up with husband Danny Goldberg, in 2018, also took its toll.
A grieving friend tells New Idea, “Whenever Annalise lost someone close to her, she struggled enormously. Losing people she loved would take her to the darkest of places.”
Annalise’s ex-fiance Phil Ceberano, brother of singer Kate Ceberano, said it was a “shock” to hear of her death, adding, “My heart goes out to all of Annalise’s friends and family.”
Model, actress and jewellery designer Annalise Braakensiek was found dead in her Sydney apartment on Jan. 6.
Annalise with her late father, Odd Karlsen, in 2000.
Annalise and ex-husband Danny.