Jane Birkin Bio - Biography

Name Jane Birkin
Height 5' 8½"
Naionality British
Date of Birth 14 December 1946
Place of Birth London, England, UK
Famous for
As a teenager, Jane Birkin decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and began auditioning. At age 17, she made her London stage debut as a young deaf-mute in Graham Greene’s “Carving a Statue.” She went on to appear in the musical “Passion Flower Hotel” at the Prince of Wales Theater where she got an opportunity to show her singing talent for the first time. In 1965, Birkin made the leap into features with Richard Lester’s The Knack...and How to Get It and was recruited by filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni to star as one of the models in his controversial movie, Blow Up, the following year. She made a massive international impression with her nude appearance.

Following an unsuccessful marriage, Birkin relocated to France and found work in French director Pierre Grimblat’s Slogan (1969), starring alongside her soon-to-be-husband Serge Gainsbourg. Later that same year, Birkin and Gainsbourg made headlines with the song “Je t’aime... moi non plus” (“I love you... me neither”), penned by Gainsbourg and featuring both of them singing. The song created a controversy for its sexual explicitness and was banned by radio stations in Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Birkin took a short hiatus from acting from 1971 to 1972, but resurfaced the next year as the lover of Brigitte Bardot in Don Juan (or If Don Juan Were a Woman), directed by Roger Vadim. She reunited with Gainsbourg in 1976 when he made his feature directorial debut in Je t’aime... moi non plus. She was nominated for a César for Best Actress. She acted in six more movies during the second half of the 1970s, including playing Louise Bourget, alongside Peter Ustinov, in the Oscar-winning Death on the Nile (1978), based on a novel by Agatha Christie.

Next, Birkin starred in such movies as French filmmaker Jacques Doillon’s La fille prodigue (1981, as Anne), Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun (1982), teamed up with director Jacques Rivette for Love on the Ground (1984), costarring with Geraldine Chaplin, and earned her next César nomination in the drama La pirate/The Pirate (1984), directed and written by Doillon. The accomplishment led to a starring role on stage in La Fausse suivante by Marivaux at Nanterre. In the based-on-novel Dust (1985), the actress gave a remarkable turn as a South African spinster who kills her father and collected another César nomination after starring in the drama/romance Femme de ma vie, La (1986). Birkin once again became the center of attention with her role in director Agnès Varda’s Kung Fu Master (1987), in which she also contributed the idea of the story. In the movie, she starred as a 40-year-old woman who has a scorching affair with a 15-year-old boy. To demonstrate her respect for Birkin, Varda then made the feature-length documentary Jane B. par Agnes V (1988), which starred Birkin as Laura.

1990 saw Birkin offer a touching performance opposite Dirk Bogarde in the Bertrand Tavernier directed Daddy Nostalgia, and rejoin director Jacques Rivette the following year for La belle noiseuse, where she nabbed a 1992 César for her scene-stealing performance opposite Michel Piccoli. She went on to star in Agnes Varda’s One Hundred and One Nights (1995, released in the U.S.A. in 1999), Alain Resnais’ On connait la chanson/Same Old Song (1997), Merchant Ivory’s A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998, as a bohemian mother named Fortescue) and The Last September (1999), the feature directorial debut of stage director Deborah Warner. In addition, she revisited the stage by appearing in “Woman of Troy” at the National Theatre in England in 1996 and recorded a radio production of her play “Oh Sorry, Were You Asleep” in 1999.

Entering the new millennium, Birkin could be seen in the made-for-television film Cinderella (2000) and the movies Ceci est mon corps/ This Is My Body (2001) and Reines d’un jour (2001). She then costarred with Dianne Wiest in Merci Docteur Rey (2002), starred as Renée in Mariées mais pas trop/The Very Merry Widows (2003) and costarred in the French television movie Aventuriers des mers du Sud, Les (2006). More recently, she acted in Carine Tardieu’s In Mom’s Head (2007) and the Cannes premiered Boxes (2007), where she also served as director and writer.

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