Jane Birkin: biography and latest news!

    Jane Birkin © COADIC GUIREC
    Jane Birkin © COADIC GUIREC

  • Occupation: singer, actress
  • Real name: Jane Mallory Birkin
  • Sign : Sagittarius
  • Date of birth: Saturday, December 14, 1946 (age: 74 years old)
  • Country : England

Born on December 14, 1946 in Marylebone, London, Jane Birkin is the daughter of David Birkin, a Royal Navy commander who, among other things, helped the French Resistance during the Second World War, and actress Judy Campbell. Passionate about comedy at a very young age, she made her acting debut at the age of 18 in Richard Lester’s film, The Knack… and how to get it. She continued her acting career in 1966 under the direction of Michelangelo Antonioni in Blow Up, Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival. She marries the English composer John Barry with whom she has a daughter, Kate Barry, born in 1967, who later makes a name for herself as a photographer. She then decides to try her luck as an actress in France.

On the set of the film Slogan, she met Serge Gainsbourg. She became his companion and his muse, and in 1969 she recorded with him the sulphurous duet Je t’aime… moi non plus, which propelled her to the top of the charts and allowed her to start a parallel career in song. Several of her albums are gold records, including Baby Alone in Babylon (1983) and, later, Arabesque (2002). Shooting followed one another and succeeded one another for Jane with more or less forgettable films such as La Moutarde me monte au nez (1974) and La Course à l’échalote by Claude Zidi (1975), Sept morts sur ordonnance, by Jacques Rouffio (1975), Je t’aime moi non plus by and with Serge Gainsbourg (1976), Au bout du banc, by Peter Kassovitz (1979). Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin were a very media-oriented couple for ten years and together they had a daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, born in 1971. But at the end of the 1970s, Jane Birkin left Serge Gainsbourg.

The year 1980 marks a turning point for the actress who favors auteur cinema after having played under the direction of Jacques Doillon in The Prodigal Girl. From 1980 to 1992, she became the companion of the director, with whom she had a daughter, Lou Doillon, born on September 4, 1982, the year of the launch of the Birkin bag, one of the notable successes of the Hermès brand. She proved that she was capable of acting in different registers and from then on, directors such as Jacques Rivette (L’Amour par terre, 1983), Agnès Varda (Jane B. par Agnès V., 1988), or Jean-Luc Godard (Soigne ta droite, 1987), Patrice Leconte (Circulez y a rien à voir, 1983) began to offer her roles.

Jane Birkin, encouraged by director Agnès Varda, began to put her writing projects into practice herself: after writing the screenplay for Kung-Fu Master, she directed the feature film Boxes, released in theaters in June 2007, and staged the play Oh, Pardon tu dormais, directed by Christine Boisson and Pierre Arditi.

On the song side, Jane Birkin had great success with her albums Versions Jane and Arabesque, where, taking up songs that Serge Gainsbourg had written for her (or that he had written for others), she became the first ambassador of the songwriter after his death in 1991. In November 2008, she released her first album, Enfants d’hiver, for which she wrote all the lyrics, bringing to fruition a project that took 40 years to blossom (Jane Birkin began writing her first lyrics in boarding school at the age of twelve). In June and September 2012, an acute pericarditis forced her to cancel her tour, which was postponed to January 2013.

On December 11, 2013, Jane Birkin suddenly lost her eldest daughter, Kate Barry, who died at the age of 46.

In 2017, Jane Birkin will once again perform on stage as part of a world tour.