Jane Birkin 'doing well' after experiencing minor stroke

The singer and actress has, however, cancelled an appearance at a French film festival this week

Actress and singer Jane Birkin, photographed in August 2021, will skip a scheduled appearance at the Deauville American Film Festival after suffering a stroke. AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

British actress and singer Jane Birkin is recovering from a stroke, her family has revealed, as the star cancelled an appearance at a French film festival.

The Death on the Nile star, 74, had been due to attend the American Film Festival in Deauville, which runs in the French seaside town until Sunday.

The former partner and muse of French crooner Serge Gainsbourg "suffered a minor form of stroke a few days ago", Birkin's family told AFP. "She is doing well," they said.

Birkin was due to discuss Jane, a documentary about her by her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg that was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in July.

Born in 1946 in London, Birkin has long been one of France's favourite English performers and remains indelibly associated with Gainsbourg and his moody melodies from the 1960s and 1970s.

"When I see the French listening to these old songs from 40 years ago, I realise they are part of their history, but they're also part of mine," she wrote in her 2018 memoir Munkey Diaries.

The book also revealed that Birkin, who lives in Paris, fought a long battle with leukaemia that first developed in the late 1990s.

She is also known for lending her name to Hermes's famed Birkin bag, which was designed after she complained to the label's then chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight that she couldn't find the right bag size.

The Je T'aime... moi non plus singer had appeared in good health during recent public appearances, including at this year's Cannes Film Festival, or on stage during the Francofolies music festival in La Rochelle in July.

Her daughter Gainsbourg, 50, made an appearance at the Deauville festival's opening ceremony on Friday, without Birkin.

– Additional reporting by AFP

Updated: September 07, 2021, 8:37 AM