Jane Birkin Dies: Singer, Actress, Serge Gainsbourg Muse Was 76
French media has reported the death of Jane Birkin at the age of 76.
The English-French star was best known for her relationship with musician Serge Gainsbourg. The pair, who were married from 1968 to 1980, collaborated on the risqué hit ‘Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus’, released in 1969 – and recorded the year before, six months after they met on the set of the film Slogan.
The song, originally written by Gainsbourg for Brigitte Bardot, caused a scandal on its release for its sexual content. It was banned by radio stations across the UK, Italy and Spain, but became an enormous and instantly recognisable hit across the world.
Although born in London and a leading light of ‘the London scene’ of the 1960s, Birkin found fame singing in French – and she lived in France from the 1970s onwards. She became celebrated as a style icon throughout the late 1960s and 70s, her personal image often transcending her work on screen. The enduring Birkin handbag was inspired by her European elegance.
Her film appearances included Blow Up (1966) and big-budget Agatha Christie adaptations Death on the Nile (1978) and Evil Under the Sun (1982).