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Jane Birkin, the British-born actor and singer who had transfixed her adopted nation of France because the Sixties, has died in Paris aged 76.
Birkin’s waif-like, virtually androgynous type made her successful with French audiences after she turned a star by way of a sequence of collaborations with the late singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.
The duo, who have been lovers, turned infamous for the provocative 1969 track “Je t’aime… moi non plus”, although Birkin went on to launch lots of her personal albums, appeared in movie roles and had an extended profession of touring and performing, notably in France.
France’s tradition ministry confirmed Birkin’s demise on Sunday and lauded her collaborations with a few of the nation’s greatest figures in movie and music, from the singer Étienne Daho to the late director Agnès Varda. The ministry referred to as Birkin a “timeless francophone icon”.
Prime minister Élisabeth Borne, writing on Twitter, referred to as Birkin “unforgettable, with a unique voice and charm”.
Birkin was discovered at dwelling in her Parisian house by a nursing aide on Sunday, in accordance with Le Parisien newspaper and BFM TV, which first reported information of her demise. She had just lately cancelled a sequence of deliberate concert events, citing well being issues.
Birkin was born in London in 1946; her mom was an actress, her father a navy commander. She captured the creativeness of French audiences along with her tumultuous love life in addition to her type and music. Part of her attraction got here from the English accent she by no means misplaced. Her wide-eyed look, straight locks and fringe, and tomboyish type have been a lot admired and copied.
In later many years she even got here to encourage the luxurious Hermès leather-based “Birkin” luggage, whose costs begin at $10,000, which have been designed in her honour and launched in 1984.
Birkin’s life was additionally marked by tragedy. A daughter, Kate Barry, from a relationship with composer John Barry, died in 2013 at 46. Birkin is survived by two different daughters — Charlotte Gainsbourg, whose father was Serge Gainsbourg, and Lou Doillon, her daughter with French director Jacques Doillon. Both are actresses.
Birkin met Gainsbourg on the British set of her movie Slogan. The pair went on to document “Je t’aime… moi non plus”, which Gainsbourg had initially written for former associate Brigitte Bardot. The track’s conspicuous sighs and sexually express lyrics shocked at the time, and it was banned by the BBC and radio stations from (*76*) to Spain, although it nonetheless reached primary in Britain.
The pair turned regulars on the buzzing Parisian nightclub scene, however Birkin’s relationship with Gainsbourg, a heavy drinker, fell aside within the early Nineteen Eighties.
Birkin additionally starred in La Piscine, a 1969 film with French movie grandees Alain Delon and the late Romy Schneider.
She had saved her standing as a trend idol lately, performing her hit “Baby Alone in Babylone” in the midst of a Gucci catwalk present at the previous Palace nightclub in Paris in 2018.
Singer Daho, who collaborated on albums with Birkin, mentioned on social media on Sunday: “It’s unimaginable to live in a world without your light.”