Born: November 13, 1938
Died: September 08, 1979
The career of actress Jean Seberg began with seemingly unlimited promise: A small-town girl from the heartland of America, she created an overnight sensation when she was selected from a pool of 18,000 candidates for what seemed a certain future of fame and celebrity. The dream quickly became a nightmare, however, and both her career and her life spiralled out of control as she became a victim of unrealized expectations, exploitative films, and even her own ideals. Born November 13, 1938, in Marshalltown, IA, Seberg harbored acting dreams throughout her childhood, appearing in local productions of dramas like +Our Town and +Picnic. She was just 17 when director Otto_Preminger selected her from a national talent search to star as Joan of Arc in his 1957 production of Saint_Joan, but when reviews of the film as well as her performance were uniformly negative, it appeared that her career was already over. In an act of defiance, Preminger then cast Seberg again -- as another French girl, no less -- in his next project,Bonjour_Tristesse. Again, however, her future looked grim, and this time evenPreminger gave up on her, passing her contract on to Columbia, where they cast her in 1959's The_Mouse_That_Roared for lack of a better project.
Seberg was already written off by Hollywood when French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, previously known as a critic for the influential journal Cahiers du Cinema, requested her to co-star with Jean-Paul Belmondo in his feature debut À Bout de Souffle. By sheer coincidence, she was already in Paris at the time, having just married attorney Francois Moreuil, and Columbia loaned her out for practically nothing. As a pixieish American romancing a French thug, Seberg delivered an impressive performance in what was to quickly emerge as one of the seminal films of the postwar era. Suddenly she was a hot property, and Columbia quickly ordered her to return to the U.S. to appear in the anti-drug dramaLet_No_Man_Write_My_Epitaph. Hollywood simply had no idea how to use Seberg, but in Europe she was much sought after. She next appeared in La_Recreation, and in 1961 Philippe de Broca cast her in his L'Amant de Cinq Jours (akaFive_Day_Lover). She also appeared in another Godard project, but the mercurial director lost interest and never even began editing the completed footage.
Upon returning to America, Seberg closed out her Columbia contract withRobert_Rossen's underrated 1964 drama Lilith, then reunited with Belmondo forEchappement_Libre. She continued moving back and forth from American films to French productions, starring in Mervyn LeRoy's 1966 drama Moment to Moment andIrvin_Kershner's A_Fine_Madness before crossing the Atlantic to appear inClaude_Chabrol's La_Ligne_De_Demarcation and Jacques_Bernard's Estouffade a la Caraibe. For her second husband, writer/director Romain_Gary, Seberg also starred in 1968's Les Oiseaux Vont Mourir au Perou. She remained a major star in Europe, but back home there was little interest in her work, despite a plum role in 1969'sPaint_Your_Wagon. In fact, she gained greater notoriety for her high-profile involvement in the civil rights movement, especially her controversial support of the Black Panthers, which even aroused the ire of the FBI. Ultimately, J. Edgar Hoover planted a fallacious story in Newsweek that the father of Seberg's unborn child was a member of the Black Panther Party; the pregnancy resulted in a premature birth, and the baby girl lived for less than two days before dying on August 25, 1970.
Though plagued by personal problems, Seberg, who had most recently appeared inAirport, continued working, first in the 1971 Italian production Questa Specie d'Amore, then reuniting with Gary (whom she'd already divorced) in his 1972 thriller Kill. A year later she appeared in L'Attentat (aka The_French_Conspiracy), then married Dennis_Berry, the son of the expatriate American filmmakerJohn_Berry. On May 1, 1973, tragedy struck again when Hakim Jamal, a black activist to whom Seberg had previously been linked, was brutally murdered. As the decade progressed, she acted with greater infrequency, co-starring withKirk_Douglas in the 1974 television movie Mousey before returning to Europe to appear in a few other pictures not released to the foreign market. Die_Wildente (akaWild_Duck), from 1976, was her last picture. Seberg was scheduled to appear in La Legion Saute sur Kolwezi, a project from Georges de Beauregard -- the producer of À Bout de Souffle -- but before filming began, she was found dead on September 8, 1979. Filmmaker Mark_Rappaport's "fictional documentary" From the Journals of Jean Seberg premiered in 1995.
Buried in the exclusive Montparnasse cemetery, Paris, France.
Her involvement with the Black Panther movement yielded the attention of the FBI, that spread the rumour about her pregnancy in 1970 being a child by Raymond Hewt, a Black Panther movement leader. She answered the press's innuendo by presenting the (white) body of her daughter Nina in a press conference. The incident may have contributed to her persistent depression over the years, and her decision to take her life in 1979.
Gave birth to her son Alexandre Diego Gary on July 17, 1962.
Although her husband Romain Gary acknowledged her daughter Nina as his own, during her pregnancy she confessed that she was actually the product of an affair (during a separation from Gary) with a student revolutionary named Carlos Navarra.
Daughter Nina died as a result of complications sustained from Jean overdosing on sleeping pills during her pregnancy, on 25 August 1970, two days after her birth.
On every subsequent anniversary of her daughter Nina's death, Jean attempted suicide. In 1978, she somehow survived an attempt, throwing herself under a train on the Paris Metro.
Rumors flew that Jean's suicide was masterminded by the FBI but it was never proven. Buried in the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris, France, her funeral was attended by such notables as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
Committed suicide in the back seat of an automobile in a Paris suburb. Her body wasn't found until 11 days later.
Otto Preminger chose her to play Joan of Arc out of nearly 18,000 hopefuls.
Her second marriage to second husband/Russian novelist Romain Gary was tempestuous and profoundly unhappy due to his obsessive, Svengali-like influence on her. Divorced in 1970, she committed suicide in 1979 while he took his own life by gunshot the very next year.
A musical, simply titled "Jean Seberg", based on her life premiered at the Royal National Theatre, London in 1983. It was written by Julian Barry with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Christopher Adler.
Kim Novak wanted to play the role eventually given to Seberg in the film musical Paint Your Wagon (1969). Actresses considered for Seberg's role in Lilith (1964) included Natalie Wood, Yvette Mimieux, Samantha Eggar, Sarah Miles and Diane Cilento.
Of her own movies, she considers Lilith (1964) to be her favorite.
Although being still married to Dennis Berry, she went through a form of marriage to Algerian playboy Ahmed Hasni, but the ceremony had no legal force (31 May 1979).
Considered one of the Nouvelle Vague's icons.
Born to Edward Seberg and Dorothy Benson.
Considered for the role of "Millie" in Our Man in Havana (1959) and the lead role in The Stepford Wives (1975). She dropped out of 'Francois Truffaut''s Fahrenheit 451 (1966) and was replaced by Julie Christie.
Was a huge fan of Marlon Brando, since seeing his screen debut in the movie The Men (1950). As a teenager, Seberg wrote to Brando and invited him to stay with her parents in Iowa. She met him years later and Brando asked her to renew the invitation.
Ex-daughter-in-law of John Berry.
Wrote and published an open letter to drug addicts' in the daily paper Libération: 27th February 1978.
My first marriage was not happy. I married him because I was impressed that he knew which wines to order and how to leave his visiting card. Ridiculous reasons.
Money doesn't buy happiness. But happiness isn't everything.
"I know that the greatest of actresses has about 20 good years of acting in her and that she will go on living for 30 or 40 years as a human being. So, the conclusion I have come to is that I can't make acting my whole life.
I never knew until I came here [Hollywood] that somebody could be really nice to you for years and really hate your guts. Happens all the time here.
In my long and difficult and mature life, I have come to learn that the less I know about acting and the more I know about everything else, the better I'll be at both acting and living.
Slected films for you!
Monday, November 8, 2010
This Week's Beauty Icon is Actress Jean Seberg. Some of you may not know who she is, but That's why i chose her, She was an underrated actress, often panned and ignored, but when you look back at her work you see that she was a fragile little bird, that with more wing span could have soared! I love her and she was and is the queen of french new Wave Cinema, and she was born American. I have chosen a select filmography that I think you all would like. Beauty wise, Jean could be sweet, gamine fresh faced kid and a sexy stylish woman. She was just a fascinating persona that was lost along the way!
check out this french interview, wow and this is in the 60's
Posted by Myke The Makeup Guy at 8:20 PM