Serge Gainsbourg

Serge Gainsbourg

Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 2 Mar 1991 (aged 62)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Division 1.
Memorial ID 3684 · View Source
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Actor, Entertainer. Born Lucien Ginsburg in Paris in 1928. He has an older sister, Jacqueline Ginsburg, his twin sister, Liliane, and their parents, who escaped czarist Russia in 1919. When he started writing songs and performing in clubs, Lucien Ginsburg changed his name to Serge Gainsbourg. In 1940, in Nazi-occupied Paris, the Ginsburgs were forced to declare themselves Jews and, in 1942, wear the yellow star. "But, their mother would sew them on the coats in a way that they were able to cover them up. Eventually the family went with false papers to Limoges, where they managed to survive until the end of the war, when they returned to Paris. Their father was a classically trained musician who earned his living playing piano in cabarets and casinos, and all three children learned to play piano. He first married Elisabeth "Lize" Levitsky on 3 November 1951, and divorced her in 1957. He married a second time on 7 January 1964, to Françoise-Antoinette "Béatrice" Pancrazzi, with whom he had two children: a daughter named Natacha and a son, Paul. He divorced Béatrice in February 1966. In late 1967 he had a short but ardent love affair with Brigitte Bardot, to whom he dedicated the song and album Initials BB. In mid-1968 Gainsbourg fell in love with the younger English singer and actress Jane Birkin, whom he met during the shooting of the film Slogan. Their relationship lasted over a decade. In 1971 they had a daughter, the actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg. Although many sources state that they were married, according to their daughter Charlotte this was not a true statement. Birkin left Gainsbourg in 1980. His last partner was Bambou (Caroline Paulus, grandniece of Field marshal Friedrich Paulus). In 1986 they had a son, Lucien (known as Lulu). Many of his songs contained themes with a morbid or sexual twist in them. An early success, "Le Poinçonneur des Lilas", describes the day in the life of a Paris Métro ticket man whose job it is to stamp holes in passengers' tickets. Gainsbourg describes this chore as so monotonous that the man eventually thinks of putting a hole into his own head and being buried in another. In 1982, Gainsbourg wrote an album for French rocker Alain Bashung, Play blessures. The album, although now considered a masterpiece by French critics, was a commercial failure. His appearances and releases became sparser as he had to rest and recover in Vezelay. During these final years, he released Love on the Beat, a controversial electronic album with mostly sexual themes in the lyrics, and his last studio album, You're Under Arrest, presented more synth-driven songs. Throughout his career, Gainsbourg wrote the soundtracks for nearly sixty films and television programs. His body was discovered, and it is stated he died of a heart attack in his sleep. In 1996, he received a posthumous César Award for Best Music Written for a Film for Élisa, along with Zbigniew Preisner and Michel Colombier.

Bio by: Shock

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 18 Oct 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3684
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Serge Gainsbourg (2 Apr 1928–2 Mar 1991), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3684, citing Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .