The French Culture Ministry and French media have stated that actress and singer Jane Birkin, who made France her home and charmed the nation with her grace, style, and accented French, has died at the age of 76.
The London-born celebrity was well-known for her sense of style and for her romantic and musical relationship with French musician Serge Gainsbourg. One of their duets, the smoldering “Je t’aime moi non plus,” had Birkin’s delicate singing voice with a British accent blending with his gruff baritone.
She was also praised for her political engagement in France. She joined other movie and music celebrities in France in 2022 in cutting her hair to show sympathy for Iranian protesters. Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is Birkin’s daughter with Gainsbourg, had a lock of her mother’s hair cut off for the commercial that was filmed.
The French Ministry of Culture tweeted that Birkin passed away on Sunday. She was praised for being a “timeless Francophone icon.”
Birkin was found dead at her Paris home, according to French news sites Liberation and BFM TV. According to the French publication Le Figaro, Birkin had been dealing with health concerns for the past several years that prevented her from performing and caused her public appearances to decrease.
London-born Birkin began her acting career by playing supporting roles in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 films Kaleidoscope and Blowup. She first met Serge Gainsbourg in 1968 while working together on the film Slogan.
In addition to releasing their debut album as a couple in 1969, Birkin and Gainsbourg collaborated on the controversial movie Je t’aime me non plus in 1976. Birkin would go on to receive additional acting credits in the Agatha Christie adaptations Evil Under the Sun (1982) and Death on the Nile (1978).
Following her split from Gainsbourg in 1980, Birkin carried on with her career as a singer and actor, performing in numerous indie films and releasing a number of solo albums. She made an appearance in the 1991 miniseries Red Fox as well as the 1998 American drama movie A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries. She claimed that her 2016 part in the Oscar-nominated short film La femme et le TGV will be her last appearance.