Juliette Gréco (French: [ʒyljɛt ɡʁeko]; 7 February 1927 – 23 September 2020) was a French singer and actress. Her best known songs were "Jolie Môme", "Déshabillez-moi", and "La Javanaise". She sang tracks with lyrics written by French poets such as Jacques Prévert and Boris Vian and singers like Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg. Her sixty-year career finished in 2015 when she began her last worldwide tour titled "Merci".
Gréco in 1961
|Born||7 February 1927|
|Died||23 September 2020 (aged 93)|
Early life and familyEdit
Juliette Gréco was born in Montpellier to an absent Corsican father, Gérard Gréco, and a mother from Bordeaux, Juliette Lafeychine (1899–1978). Her lineage hails in part from Greece. She did not receive love from her mother in her childhood and suffered from her harsh comments due to being an unwanted child, such as "You ain't my daughter. You're the child of rape". She was raised by her maternal grandparents in Bordeaux with her older sister Charlotte. After the death of her grandparents, her mother took them to Paris. In 1938, she became a ballerina at the Opéra Garnier.
When World War II began, the family returned to the southwest of France. Gréco was a student at the Institut Royal d'éducation Sainte Jeanne d'Arc in Montauban. The Gréco family became active in the Résistance and her mother was arrested in 1943. The two sisters decided to move back to Paris but were captured and tortured by the Gestapo, then imprisoned in Fresnes Prison in September 1943. Her mother and sister were deported to Ravensbrück while Juliette, being only 16, remained in prison for several months before being released. After her release, she walked the eight miles back to Paris to retrieve her belongings from the Gestapo headquarters. Her former French teacher and her mother's friend, Hélène Duc, decided to take care of her.
In 1945, Gréco's mother and sister returned from deportation after the liberation of Ravensbrück by the Red Army. Gréco moved to Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1945 after her mother moved to Indochina, leaving Gréco and her sister behind.
Gréco became a devotee of the bohemian fashion of some intellectuals of post-war France. Duc sent her to attend acting classes given by Solange Sicard. She made her debut in the play Victor ou les Enfants au pouvoir in November 1946 and began to host a radio show dedicated to poetry.
Her friend Jean-Paul Sartre installed her at the Hotel La Louisiane and commented Greco had "millions of poems in her voice". She was known to many of the writers and artists working in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, such as Albert Camus, Jacques Prévert and Boris Vian, thus gaining the nickname la Muse de l'existentialisme.
Gréco spent the post-Liberation years frequenting the Saint-Germain-des-Prés cafes, immersing herself in political and philosophical bohemian culture. As a regular at music and poetry venues like Le Tabou on Rue Dauphine, she was acquainted with Jean Cocteau, and was given a role in Cocteau's film Orphée (1950).
In 1949, she began an affair with U.S. jazz musician Miles Davis. In 1957, they decided to always be just lovers because their careers were in different countries and his fear of damaging her career by being in an interracial relationship. They remained lovers and friends until his death in 1991.
In 1949, she also made her debut as a cabaret singer in the Parisian cabaret Le Bœuf sur le toit, performing the lyrics of a number of well-known French writers; Raymond Queneau's "Si tu t'imagines" was one of her earliest songs to become popular.
Personal life and deathEdit
Gréco was married three times:
- to actor Philippe Lemaire (1953–1956)
- actor Michel Piccoli (1966–1977)
- pianist Gérard Jouannest (1988 until his death in 2018)
With Lemaire, she had a daughter, Laurence-Marie, born in 1954. Laurence-Marie Lemaire died from cancer in 2016 aged 62.
Gréco lived between Paris and Saint-Tropez.
An allusion to Gréco is made by English singer Ray Davies in the song "Art School Babe" from his album Storyteller.
"Michelle" by the Beatles was inspired by Gréco and the Parisian Left Bank culture. Paul McCartney said of the song: "We'd tag along to these parties, and it was at the time of people like Juliette Greco, the French bohemian thing. They'd all wear black turtleneck sweaters, it's kind of where we got all that from, and we fancied Juliette like mad. Have you ever seen her? Dark hair, real chanteuse, really happening. So I used to pretend to be French, and I had this song that turned out later to be 'Michelle'."
John Lennon wrote in Skywriting by Word of Mouth: "I'd always had a fantasy about a woman who would be a beautiful, intelligent, dark-haired, high-cheek-boned, free-spirited artist à la Juliette Gréco."
In 1999, a rose was named after her by Georges Delbard under the name of "Juliette Gréco".
- 1982: Jujube (published in French), Stock
- 2012: Je suis faite comme ça, Flammarion
- 1950: Si tu t'imagines: written by Raymond Queneau and composed by Joseph Kosma.
- 1950: La Fourmi : written by Robert Desnos and composed by Joseph Kosma.
- 1951: Je suis comme je suis : written by Jacques Prévert and composed by Joseph Kosma.
- 1951: Les Feuilles mortes: from the movie Les Portes de la nuit, written by Jacques Prévert and composed by Joseph Kosma.
- 1951: Sous le ciel de Paris: from the movie Sous le ciel de Paris : written by Jean Dréjac and composed by Hubert Giraud.
- 1951: Je hais les dimanches: written by Charles Aznavour and composed by Florence Véran.
- 1953: La Fiancée du pirate: extract from L'Opéra de quat'sous.
- 1954: Coin de rue: written and composed by Charles Trenet.
- 1955: Chanson pour l'Auvergnat: written and composed by Georges Brassens.
- 1957: Musique Mécanique: written by Boris Vian and composed by André Popp.
- 1957: La Complainte du téléphone: written by François Billetdoux and composed by André Popp.
- 1959: De Pantin à Pékin : written by Pierre Delanoë and composed by André Popp.
- 1959: Il était une oie : written and composed by Serge Gainsbourg.
- 1960: Il n'y a plus d’après : written and composed by Guy Béart.
- 1961: On n'oublie rien : written by Jacques Brel.
- 1961: Jolie Môme: written and composed by Léo Ferré.
- 1961: C'était bien (Le P'tit bal perdu): written by Robert Nyel and composed by Gaby Verlor.
- 1961: Le Temps passé : written and composed by Georges Brassens.
- 1961: Chandernagor : written and composed by Guy Béart.
- 1962: Accordéon : written and composed by Serge Gainsbourg.
- 1962: Paris Canaille : written and composed by Léo Ferré.
- 1963: La Javanaise : written and composed by Serge Gainsbourg.
- 1966: Un petit poisson, un petit oiseau : written by Jean-Max Rivière and composed by Gérard Bourgeois.
- 1967: Déshabillez-moi : written by Robert Nyel and composed by Gaby Verlor.
- 1970: Les Pingouins : written and composed by Frédéric Botton.
- 1971: La Chanson des vieux amants : written by Jacques Brel and composed by Gérard Jouannest.
- 1971: J'arrive : written by Jacques Brel and composed by Gérard Jouannest.
- 1972: Mon fils chante : written by Maurice Fanon and composed by Gérard Jouannest.
- 1977: Non monsieur je n'ai pas vingt ans: written by Henri Gougaud and composed by Gérard Jouannest.
- 1983: Le Temps des cerises : written by Jean Baptiste Clément and composed by Antoine Renard.
- 1988: Ne me quitte pas : written and composed by Jacques Brel.
- 2006: La Chanson de Prévert : written and composed by Serge Gainsbourg.
- 2009: Le Déserteur: written and composed by Boris Vian.
- 1947: Les Frères Bouquinquant (by Louis Daquin) – Une religieuse
- 1948: Ulysse ou les mauvaises rencontres (Short, by Alexandre Astruc)
- 1949: Au royaume des cieux (by Julien Duvivier) – Rachel
- 1950: Orphée (by Jean Cocteau) – Aglaonice
- 1951: Sans laisser d'adresse (by Jean-Paul Le Chanois) – La chanteuse
- 1952: The Green Glove (by Rudolph Maté) – Singer (scenes deleted)
- 1953: When You Read This Letter (by Jean-Pierre Melville) – Thérèse Voise
- 1953: Saluti e baci (by Maurice Labro and Giorgio Simonelli) – Herself
- 1953: Boum sur Paris (by Maurice de Canonge) – Juliette Gréco
- 1956: Elena and Her Men (by Jean Renoir) – Miarka, la gitane
- 1956: La Châtelaine du Liban (by Richard Pottier) – Maroussia
- 1956: L'Homme et l'Enfant (by Raoul André) – Nicky Nistakos
- 1957: The Sun Also Rises (by Henry King) – Georgette Aubin
- 1957: C'est arrivé à 36 chandelles (by Henri Diamant-Berger) – Herself (uncredited)
- 1957: Œil pour œil (by André Cayatte)
- 1958: The Naked Earth (by Vincent Sherman) – Maria
- 1958: The Roots of Heaven (by John Huston) – Minna
- 1958: Bonjour tristesse (by Otto Preminger) – Herself
- 1959: Whirlpool (by Lewis Allen) – Lora
- 1960: Crack in the Mirror (by Richard Fleischer) – Eponine / Florence
- 1961: The Big Gamble (by Richard Fleischer) – Marie
- 1962: Where the Truth Lies (by Henri Decoin) – Myriam Heller
- 1963: Canzoni nel mondo (by Vittorio Sala) – Herself
- 1964: The Chase (by Michel Boisrond) – Une invitée au spectacle de Sylvie Vartan (uncredited)
- 1964: Love at Sea (by Guy Gilles) – L'actrice du film
- 1965: Uncle Tom's Cabin (by Géza von Radványi) – Dinah
- 1967: The Night of the Generals (by Anatole Litvak) – Juliette
- 1967: Le Désordre à vingt ans (Documentary, by Jacques Baratier) – Herself
- 1973: Le Far West (by Jacques Brel)
- 1975: Lily aime-moi (by Maurice Dugowson) – Flo
- 1999: Lettre à mon frère Guy Gilles, cinéaste trop tôt disparu (Documentary, by Luc Bernard) – Herself
- 2001: Paris à tout prix (Documentary, by Yves Jeuland) – Herself
- 2001: Belphégor, le fantôme du Louvre (by Jean-Paul Salomé) – Woman in the cemetery
- 2002: Jedermanns Fest (by Fritz Lehner) – Yvonne Becker (final film role)
- Lafitte, Jacques Lafitte (2008). Qui est qui en France. p. 1045.
- "Juliette Gréco : "J'étais entièrement pourrie des choses les plus belles du monde, et je marchais nu-pieds"". franceculture. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
- "Dites-moi". Sonuma.be.
- "Juliette Gréco : " Cela fait 88 ans que je suis en guerre "". lemonde.fr. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- POULANGES, Alain. "« GRÉCO JULIETTE (1927– ) », Encyclopædia Universalis". universalis.fr.
- "12 novembre 1946/Juliette Gréco dans Victor ou les enfants au pouvoir". Terresdefemmes. Retrieved 12 November 2005.
- Sylvie-E. Saliceti. "Sartre par Gréco: Rue des Blancs-Manteaux" (in French). Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "Juliette Greco dit pourquoi elle a été surnommée la muse de l'existentialisme" (in French). ina.fr. 13 July 1962.
- Gréco, Juliette (25 May 2006). "'Sartre asked Miles why we weren't married. He said he loved me too much to make me unhappy'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2006.
- Davis, Miles (1989). Miles, the autobiography. Simon & Schuster. pp. 218. ISBN 978-0671725822.
- The Guardian obituary, Patrick O'Connor,juliette greco obituary
- "Juliette Gréco: 'We were very naughty'". The Guardian.
- "Interview of Miles Davis by Jean-Pierre Farkas(1973)". Lettres à Miles (2016).
- Gréco, Juliette (2012). Je suis faite comme ça. Flammarion. ISBN 9782081254893.
- "Mitología" - Manuel Vicent Archived 22 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine. El País (22 April 2007).
- Schwaab, Catherine. "Nécrologie de Jeanne Moreau". Paris Match: 64–65.
- "Juliette GRECO et Darryl ZANUCK". ina.fr.
- Jones, Quincy (2001). Q : the autobiography of Quincy Jones. Doubleday. pp. 156. ISBN 9780767905107.
- Dicale, Bertrand (2001). Juliette Greco : les vies d'une chanteuse. Paris: JC Lattes. pp. 240. ISBN 978-2702868188.
- "Pills Fell Juliette Greco". The New York Times.
- Proust, Raphaël. "1974, Giscard peopolise la campagne de la droite". Slate.fr. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- Forcari, Christophe (18 November 2013). ""Minute", ascenseur pour les fachos". Libération.fr (in French). Libération.
- "La chanteuse Juliette Gréco est morte". 23 September 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via Le Monde.
- "Juliette Gréco est morte à l'âge de 93 ans". BFMTV. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
- "Juliette Gréco, singer, film star and all-round icon, talks to Eddi Fiegel". The Guardian.
- "Pete Doherty meets Paul McCartney". TheGuardian. Retrieved 14 October 2007.
- Lennon, John (1986). Skywriting by Word of Mouth. Harper and Row Publishers. p. 13. ISBN 978-0060914448.
- Marianne Faithfull: memories, dreams and reflections. Harper Perennial. 2008. pp. 225–227. ISBN 978-0007245819.
- "Légion d'honneur: Simone Veil, Juliette Gréco, Michel Blanc promus le 14 juillet". nouvelobs.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Décret du 29 mars 2002 portant promotion et nomination". legifrance.gouv.fr. Retrieved 29 March 2002.
- "Décret du 20 novembre 2015 portant élévation aux dignités de grand'croix et de grand officier". legifrance.gouv.fr.
- "Décret du 15 mai 2006 portant promotion et nomination". legifrance.gouv.fr.
- "Nomination dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres janvier 2016" (in French). Ministry of Culture and Communication of France. 31 March 2016. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- A muse of postwar France: singer and actress Juliette Gréco (1927-2020) Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
- Juliette Gréco on IMDb
- Juliette Gréco on Europopmusic.eu (English)
- Juliette Gréco discography at Discogs
- Biography of Juliette GrécoArchived 5 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine