Paris, 24 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) — The French singer and actor Juliette Greco has died at the age of 93 at her home, French news agency AFP reported on Wednesday, citing her family.
In a career that spanned many decades, Greco performed the most iconic songs of the French chanson style, written by chansonniers such as Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. She interpreted texts of writers such as Francoise Sagan, Jacques Prevert, Francois Mauriac and Albert Camus.
She was often called the Lady in Black due to her dedication to wearing black clothes, as well as the Grand Dame of Chanson.
Greco was elegance and freedom, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening. “Her face and her voice will continue to accompany our lives. The muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is immortal,” Macron wrote.
The recognizable voice of Greco will be sorely missed, Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter, calling the singer a Parisian icon.
Greco was discovered by the French philosopher and existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre in a cellar bar in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the Parisian intellectual hub in the 1950s, and through him she was introduced to artists, writers and thinkers. One of her early lovers was the legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
Greco was born on February 7, 1927 in Montpellier, France.
Despite her mother and sister being victims of the Gestapo, she was one of the first French singers to appear in postwar Germany in 1959.
Greco was married thrice, briefly in 1953 to actor Philippe Lemaire, with whom she had a daughter, then to the actor-director Michel Piccoli.
In 1988 she married her long-time musical companion, pianist Gerard Jouannest.