Dalida

Dalida

Original Name Yolanda Christina Gigliotti
Birth
Cairo, El Qahira, Egypt
Death 3 May 1987 (aged 54)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Division 18
Memorial ID 3685 · View Source
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Singer, Actress. She received notoriety in the 20th century as a French singer and actress. Born Yolanda Christina Gigliotti in Egypt to Italian parents, her father was a professional violinist for Cairo Opera. After having eye surgery twice as a child, she refused to wear glasses to correct her vision problem of a “lazy eye” as her appearance was more important. During World War II as Italians, her family suffered with her father being imprisoned for four years by Allied forces. She had a Roman Catholic education and was prepared to be employed as a secretary upon graduation. In 1954 she was selected to be Miss Egypt, followed by her first film in Egypt, and in 1955 she played opposite Omar Sharif as a double for Joan Collins in a film that was released as "The Land of the Pharaohs." In 1956 in hope of starting an acting career, she moved to Paris and under the stage name "Dalida," she began performing in music halls and cabarets. In 1957 she was awarded her first Gold Record for a million sales in Europe for her second single recording, "Bambino,” and throughout her career, she earned over 70 Gold Records. In 1964 being the first woman, she received a Platinum Record for having sold over 10 million records in France. On March 18, 1981 in recognition of her 25 years as an entertainer, she received a Diamond Disc for Lifetime Achievement and 45 million units sold. In 1961 she gained her French citizenship after her short marriage to a Frenchman, Lucien Morisse. Although she mainly recorded in French, she recorded songs in seven languages including Arabic, German, Italian, and English. Among her recordings were "Itsi Bitsi Petit Bikini", "Laissez-moi danser" and "Mourir sur scène". She also recorded a French version of Wham!'s "Last Christmas", titled "Reviens-Moi." She sang in Italian with a cover of Cher's "Bang Bang.” In 1977 when she recorded a French and a Arabic version of the Egyptian song "Salma Ya Salama.” While her professional life was successful, her private life was a tragedy with her fighting major episodes of depression. In 1966 she fell in love with Italian singer Luigi Tenco. The couple were due to have been married in April of 1967, but in January Tenco committed suicide after their duet “Ciao Amore Ciao” failed to qualify for a competition. Unable to deal with grief, she attempted suicide, but after five days in a coma and months of convalescing, she lived. In December of 1967, she became pregnant by a young student, had an illegal abortion, and after serious complications, was told she was sterile. Her hit "He Had Just Turned 18” was released shortly after this ordeal. Through the years, besides Tenco, several of her closest friends committed suicide including her ex-husband Morisse in 1970, Mike Brant in 1975, and former romantic partner Richard Chanfray in 1983. She had many more hits and toured the world, including in November of 1978 a successful performance in New York City at Carnegie Hall. After her film offers had declined, she made television guest appearances and sang in commercials. She was no longer doing 200 engagements a year as she had in her prime. In 1986 she had a career rally with her leading role as a young grandmother in the Frans-Egyptian movie "Le Sixième Jous,” which was successful according to critics. She had scheduled performances for the summer of 1987, but in the spring of that year and after another failed romantic relationship, she died as a result of an overdose of barbiturates leaving a suicide note that said: "Life has become unbearable ... forgive me." In Paris the corner of the rue Girardon and rue de l'Abreuvoir in Montmartre was named in 1997 “Place Dalida” in her honor and a large bust in her memory was erected at the site. In 2017 in recognition of the 30th anniversary of her death, the melancholic biography film, “Dalida” was released.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 18 Oct 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3685
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dalida (17 Jan 1933–3 May 1987), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3685, citing Cimetiere de Montmartre, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .