Jane Birkin: British-French Actor and Singer, actress, Dies at 76
Birkin’s rise to fame began shortly after her arrival in Paris, when she fell in love with French actor and singer Serge Gainsbourg. The two quickly became the subject of widespread public fascination, with Gainsbourg nearly 20 years older than Birkin. The couple often collaborated professionally, memorably performing together on Je t’aime moi non plus, a sultry duet whose explicit lyrics saw the song banned in several countries.
Birkin was best known internationally for her steamy 1969 duet Je t’aime… moi non plus which she sang with Gainsbourg, one year after meeting him on the shoot of Pierre Grimblat’s “Slogan.” Although she hadn’t broken through at the time, she had a small but memorable part in Michelangelo Antonioni’s sultry 1966 film Blow Up.
It was banned on radio in several countries and condemned by the Vatican because of its overtly sexual lyrics but introduced the pair to a new international audience.
She went on to appear in more than 60 films, including La Piscine, The Pleasure Pit, Death on the Nile, Varda’s One Hundred and One Nights.” She was nominated for three César Awards during her career, and directed her own film, Boxes, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
The most Parisian of the English has left us, said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. We will never forget her songs, her laughs and her incomparable accent which always accompanied us.
Jane Mallory Birkin was born in London in December 1946, daughter of British actress Judy Campbell and Royal Navy commander David Birkin.
They are popular with the Kardashian-Jenner sisters, who have all carried a version. Victoria Beckham is known to have at least 100 Birkins, while socialite Jamie Chua is believed to have the world’s largest collection with more than 200.
Their relationship has been frequently described as tumultuous, and Birkin wrote about violence between the two in her 2020 diaries, as well as the challenges of Gainsbourg’s alcoholism.