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Jane Birkin is dead. The actress and singer was 76 years old

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Jane Birkin is dead, French media reported on Sunday, quoted by Reuters. The British actress and singer, who has lived and worked in France for decades, has been found dead in her home in Paris, Le Parisien newspaper and BFM television reported, citing people close to the artist. Jane Birkin was 76 years old.

Reuters reminded that Jane Birkin gained international fame with the erotic hit “Je t’aime… moi non plus” from 1969, which she performed together with her lover, French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (died in 1991 ). The song, which is a musical illustration of a sexual act, was banned in many countries, which only added to the fame of both artists. Birkin and Gainsbourg became one of the most famous couples in Paris, arousing controversy and accused of insulting decency. The colorful press outdid each other in reports about the couple’s subsequent trips to Parisian nightclubs.

Although the relationship broke up in the 1980s, Birkin and Gainsbourg did not stop collaborating in the musical field. The singer wrote songs for the English actress’s subsequent albums, and she appeared in his films, which were not very praised by critics. They were friends until Gainsbourg’s death in 1991.

As a singer, Birkin has released 15 albums, singing in a distinctive, slightly childlike voice, resembling a whisper, with a still pronounced English accent, despite many years spent in France.

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Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Photo from 1970 Bridgeman Images-RDA/Forum

Jane Birkin – actress

Born in 1946, Jane Mallory Birkin made her cinematic debut in 1965 with the role of a girl on a moped in Richard Lester’s comedy “The way to women”. A breakthrough in her career was a performance as one of the models photographed by the main character (David Hemmings) in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film drama “Blowup” (1966).

Two years later, Birkin went to France, applying for the lead role in “Slogan”, which she received, despite the fact that she did not speak French.

Birkin starred in over 80 films, including Death on the Nile (1978) and Evil Everywhere (1982). She was nominated three times for the César, the most important French film award – in 1985 for the main role in “La Pirate”, similarly in 1987 for her performance in “The Woman of My Life”, and in 1992 for her supporting role in “The Beautiful Shrew”.

Jane Birkin. Photo from February 9, 2018 MARTIAL TREZZINI/PAP/EPA

Jane Birkin – a fashion icon

Birkin, who was also a model, was considered a fashion icon, setting her trends. The Hermes company named the legendary Hermes Birkin handbag after her, one of the most expensive in the world and the most desired by elegant women.

Menna Rawlings, the British ambassador to France, paid tribute to the deceased in a Twitter post, emphasizing that she was “the most French of British artists”.

Canceled concerts

The French newspaper Le Parisien reminded that the singer canceled concerts at the end of May for health reasons. “I have always been a great optimist and I realize that I need some time to be able to be on stage again and with you” – this is a fragment of Birkin’s statement issued at the time, quotes the French daily.

“Born in London in 1946, she moved to France in the late 1960s. Naturalized French, she has retained her British accent and instantly recognizable tone of voice,” wrote Le Parisien.

Jane Birkin. Photo from August 4, 2016 ALEXANDRA WEY/EPA/PAP

Family and charity

The artist had three daughters: Kate Barry (who died in 2013), Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon.

In 2021, a documentary about Birkin – “Jane by Charlotte” – was released, directed by Charlotte Gainsbourg. The star’s daughter confessed that she “needed a camera to tell her mother ‘I love you'”. “This film didn’t change our relationship, but it left a mark on us,” said Gainsbourg, whose documentary was shown in the Cannes Premiere section of the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

Birkin has been doing charity work in recent years. She visited third world countries and supported organizations working for AIDS victims.

Reuters, Le Parisien, BBC, PAP

Main photo source: Melanie Lemahieu/Shutterstock

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