Thursday, July 17, 2008

Spy Girl

Jane Birkin was born in London on December 14, 1946. She is the daughter of Judy Campbell, an actress and David Birkin, a captain in the Royal Navy.

When she was just seventeen years old she met John Barry, who wrote the musical score to the James Bond movies, when he cast her in his musical comedy Passion Flower Hotel. They married shortly afterwards and her first daughter Kate was born in 1967.

When she was twenty years old she was cast in Michelangelo Antonioni's controversial film "Blow Up". The film garnered plenty of attention at the Cannes Film Festival and caught the eye of Pierre Grimblat. He was filming a movie "Slogan" in France and was searching for an Englishwoman to play opposite Serge Gainsbourg, the French pop artist. Gainsbourg was fresh out of his breakup with Brigitte Bardot and reeling with heartache. Taking much of his frustration out on Birkin, he left her in tears in front of the camera. Right then and there their infamous love story began.

Gainsbourg and Birkin became inseparable traveling through the underground club scene with photographers trailing behind. In 1969 they released the song "Je t' non plus" (I love neither) written by Gainsbourg and featuring both of them singing. The song was condemned for its sexual explicitness and publicly banned by radio stations. However, the negative publicity propelled the song into a mega hit all over Europe. Birkin and Gainsbourg married in 1968. They had one daughter actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. In 1980 they separated and Birkin became involved with director Jacques Doillon. In 1982 she gave birth to her third daughter Lou Doillon, who is also an actress and model.

The ultimate in luxury, Hermes Birkin bag, was named after her in 1984 after the actress was seen by the head of Hermes struggling with several bags while boarding an airplane. The Birkin bag has become one of Hermes most sought after and expensive bags.

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