– Jane Birkin – in Concert from Paris – April 12, 2017 – Grand Auditorium, Radio France –
More sad news today, seems to be coming in waves lately. Today it was the passing of icon, singer, actor, muse Jane Birkin who was found unresponsive in her Paris home earlier in the day. Cause of death isn’t know at this time, but she had a number of health issue in recent years including a stroke.
Jane Birkin attained international fame and notability for her decade-long musical and romantic partnership with Serge Gainsbourg. She also had a prolific career as an actress, mostly in French cinema.
A native of London, Birkin began her career as an actress, appearing in minor roles in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966), and Kaleidoscope (1966). In 1968, she met Serge Gainsbourg while co-starring with him in Slogan, which marked the beginning of a years-long working and personal relationship. The duo released their debut album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg (1969), and Birkin also appeared in the controversial film Je t’aime moi non plus (1976) under Gainsbourg’s direction. Though she mostly worked in France where she had become a major star, Birkin occasionally appeared in English-language films such as the Agatha Christie adaptations Death on the Nile (1978) and Evil Under the Sun (1982), as well as James Ivory’s A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998).
After separating from Gainsbourg in 1980, Birkin continued to work as both an actress and a singer, appearing in various independent films and recording numerous solo albums. In 2016, she starred in the Academy Award-nominated short film La femme et le TGV, which she said would be her final film role.
Birkin lived mainly in France from the late 1960s onwards, and would acquire French citizenship. She was the mother of photographer Kate Barry, with her first husband John Barry; actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, with Serge Gainsbourg; and musician Lou Doillon, with Jacques Doillon. In addition to her acting and musical credits, she lent her name to the Hermès Birkin handbag.
Here, by way of tribute to an immense talent is a concert she performed with the Philharmonic of Radio France conducted by Nobuyuki Nakajima in a concert dubbed “Jane Birkin Symphonique (Jane chant Serge).
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