Paris, France — Jane Birkin, the British-French actress and singer who was best known for her work with Serge Gainsbourg and her iconic namesake handbag, died on Sunday at her home in Paris. She was 76.
Birkin’s death was confirmed by her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg. The cause of death was not immediately released.
Birkin was born in London in 1946. She began her career as an actress, appearing in films such as “Blowup” (1966) and “Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom” (1975). She also starred in several of Gainsbourg’s films, including “Je t’aime… moi non plus” (1969), which became a controversial hit due to its sexually explicit lyrics.
In addition to her film work, Birkin was also a successful singer. She released her first album, “Sous le soleil exactement,” in 1969. She went on to release over 20 albums, and her music was often influenced by her French roots.
Birkin was also a fashion icon. In 1984, Hermès named a handbag after her. The Birkin bag is one of the most expensive and sought-after handbags in the world.
Birkin was a complex and fascinating figure. She was a talented actress, singer, and fashion icon. She was also a free spirit who lived life on her own terms. She will be remembered as a true original.
Tributes to Birkin have poured in from around the world. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that Birkin was “a free spirit, a sensitive and daring artist.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called her “a true icon of French cinema and music.”
Birkin’s death is a loss for the world of arts and culture. She was a unique and talented individual who will be missed by many.