Jane Mallory Birkin OBE (born 14 December 1946) is an English actress, singer and film director.
Birkin was born in London, England to David Birkin, a Royal Navy lieutenant-commander and World War II espionage hero, and Judy Campbell, an actress in Noel Coward musicals. Birkin's brother is the screenwriter/director Andrew Birkin. First cousin of her father was Freda Dudley Ward, a mistress of Edward VIII while he was Prince of Wales.
Birkin emerged in the swinging '60s in London, starring as one of the models in the controversial 1966 film Blowup. In 1968, Birkin went to France to audition for the lead female role in Slogan. Though she did not speak French, she got the role. She met her future husband Serge Gainsbourg on set.
In 1969, she and Serge Gainsbourg released the song "Je t'aime... moi non plus" ("I love you... me neither"), written by Gainsbourg and featuring both of them singing, which caused a scandal for its sexual explicitness. Arguably due in part to the publicity it got from being banned by radio stations in Italy, Spain, and the UK, it was a commercial success all over Europe. The song's fame is a result of its salacious lyrics (sung in French) against a background of female moaning and groaning, culminating in an orgasm at the song's conclusion.
Birkin took a break from acting in 1971-72, but returned as Brigitte Bardot's lover in Don Juan (or if Don Juan were a woman) in 1973.
In 1975, she appeared in Gainsbourg's first film, also entitled Je t'aime... moi non plus, which created a stir for frank examination of sexual ambiguity. For this performance she was nominated for a Best Actress César Award.
Birkin has starred in the Agatha Christie films Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun, and recorded several albums, including Baby Alone in Babylone, Amours des Feintes, Lolita Go Home and Rendez-vous. She has obtained in the category Female Artist of the year in France the Victoires de la Musique award in 1992 .
She starred in two films by Jacques Doillon as Anne in La fille prodigue (1981) and as Alma in La pirate (1984, nominated for a César Award). This work led to an invitation from Patrice Chéreau to star on stage in La Fausse suivante by Marivaux at Nanterre. After this, she also began to appear frequently on stage in plays and concerts (in France, Japan, the UK and then the US).
Jacques Rivette collaborated with her for Love on the Ground (1983) and La belle noiseuse (1991, Nominated Césars best supporting actress). Additionally, she appeared in Merchant Ivory's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998, also used her song "Di Doo Dah") and Merci Docteur Rey (2002), while Le Divorce's end title song featured her singing "L'Anamour", composed by Serge Gainsbourg.
In 2006, she played Elektra, directed by Philippe Calvario in France.
Jane Birkin's humanitarian interests led her to work with Amnesty International, on immigrant welfare and AIDS issues. Birkin has also visited Bosnia, Rwanda and Palestinian Territories, often working with children. She was awarded an OBE, in 2001, for her services to acting. She has also been awarded the French Ordre National du Mérite.
She has made musical collaborations and duets with artists such as Feist, Beth Gibbons from Portishead, Bryan Ferry, Brian Molko from Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, Manu Chao, Brett Anderson from Suede, Mickey (3d), Françoise Hardy, Cali, The Divine Comedy, The Magic Numbers, Paolo Conte, Beck, Rufus Wainwright, Yann Tiersen, Alain Souchon, Les Negresses Vertes, Johnny Marr from The Smiths, Zazie, MC Solaar, Yosui Inoue, Étienne Daho, Alain Chamfort, Jimmy Rowles, Goran Bregovic, Sonny Landreth, The Soundtrack of Our Lives and many others.
Click the picture to start download