Singer and actress Jane Birkin died on her first night alone for nearly two years as she tried to regain her independence while battling cancer, it has been revealed today.
The London-born 76-year-old has been involved in ‘a terrible battle’ against the disease in her adopted France but wants to return to a normal life without being surrounded by carers all day.
His body was found by one of them at Mrs Birkin’s Paris home on Sunday, after he had expressed his desire to spend Saturday night alone.
Ms Birkin also said she wanted to start performing again and was looking forward to her next appearance at the Olympia concert hall in the French capital.
A Paris police source told BFMTV that it came as robbers tried to break into the dead star’s home in the early hours of Wednesday morning. A childhood friend of the home voiced behind the door as police dispatched to the scene noted damage to the home’s entrance.
Jane Birkin’s body (pictured in December last year) was found by a carer at her Paris home on Sunday, after she had expressed her desire to spend Saturday night alone.
Jane Birkin (pictured in 1960) was involved in ‘a terrible battle’ against cancer but wanted to return to a normal life without being surrounded by carers all day
A statement released by her family on Wednesday said: ‘Jane Birkin has died after a terrible 16-year battle with illness.
‘Since his stroke in September 2021, his family and wonderful carers have been by his side day and night.
‘Within days, he was walking again, and was inspired by the reenactment of his Olympia performance.
‘The first evening was over. He fixed it.’
The statement, which confirmed the death of ‘natural causes’, was released by Ms Birkin’s manager Olivier Gluzman on behalf of her daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg, 51, and Lou Dillon, 40.
Ms Birkin described her leukemia – which she was diagnosed with in 1998 – as a ‘not very painful cancer’, but she canceled a serious concert in May when it worsened.
He said at the time: ‘I’ve always been a great optimist, and I understand that I still need some time to be able to be on stage and with you again’.
Ms Birkin was known as the former lover of French singer Serge Gainsbourg, whom she first met while co-starring in the 1969 French satirical romantic comedy Slogan.
Jane Birkin (pictured in 1968) was one of the UK’s most famous Sixties sensations, known for her romantic affairs, striking looks and fashion sense.
Mrs Birkin described her leukemia – which she was diagnosed with in 1998 – as a ‘not very painful cancer’. He is pictured in 1969
Morticians took away the body of Jane Birkin on Sunday as the French capital mourned her death
Other fans chose to leave a photo as a way to honor the iconic actress
Ms Birkin was 21 at the time, and had moved to France with her young daughter Kate Barry after a brief marriage to James Bond composer John Barry.
Ms Birkin and Gainsbourg’s sexist song, ‘Je t’aime… moi non plus’ (I love you, nor me) was a global hit, reaching number one in the UK charts.
This was despite it being banned from several stations, as it was considered too risky.
After Sunda’s death was announced, fans laid floral tributes outside the cult film star’s home in the French capital, before morticians took her body away.
French President Emmanuel Macron led tributes to Ms Birkin on Sunday, posting on Twitter: ‘Because she embodied freedom, because she sang the most beautiful words in our language, Jane Birkin was a French icon.
‘A consummate artist, his voice was as sweet as his engagement was fiery.
‘He gave us tones and images that will not leave us.’
Jane Birkin pictured with her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg at the César Film Awards in Paris in February this year
Jane Birkin pictured at L’Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo in March 2013
Jane Birkin is pictured in 1996. The London-born 76-year-old has been involved in ‘a terrible battle’ against the disease in her adopted France
French Culture Minister Reema Abdul Malak also paid tribute, tweeting ‘most of Britain’s French have gone’.
He continued: ‘Jane B was the epitome of mischievous, antisocial elegance, an ever-aging symbol of an entire era, a chattering voice that remains our icon.
‘A woman of heart, committed, whose disappearance leaves us alone in Babylon,’ refers to one of Birkin’s lyrics.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and British Ambassador to France Mena Rawlings described Birkin as ‘the most Parisian of Englishmen’ and ‘the most French of British artists’ respectively.
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