PARIS (AP) – Actress and singer Jane Birkin, who charmed France with her English grace, style and French accent and made the country her home, has died at the age of 76, according to the French culture ministry and French media.
Widely admired for her fashion style, the London-born star was best known for her musical and romantic relationship with French singer Serge Gainsbourg. Notable among her songs was the steamy “Je t’aime moi non plus,” which mingled Birkin’s ethereal British-accented singing voice with his gruff baritone.
In France, too, she was celebrated for her political commitment. In 2022, she joined other film and music stars in France in cutting strands of hair to support protesters in Iran. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Birkin’s daughter with Gainsbourg, cut a strand of her mother’s hair for this filmed campaign.
The French culture ministry tweeted that Birkin died on Sunday. She was hailed as a “timeless francophone icon”.
French news outlets Libération and BFM TV reported that Birkin was found dead at her home in Paris. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that in recent years Birkin has suffered from health problems that have prevented her from performing and her public appearances have become less frequent.
BFM TV said Birkin suffered a mild stroke in 2021 that forced her to cancel shows that year. In March she canceled her appearances again because of a broken shoulder blade.
A return to performances in May has been postponed, the French broadcaster said. He quoted the singer as saying she needed a little more time and promised her fans to see her again in the fall.