French singer and recording star Juliette Gréco, whose career spanned more than six decades, died September 23 at her home in Ramatuelle, France.
She was 93.
Gréco was one of the few remaining living contemporaries to Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Cocteau, Albert Camus, and other Existentialist artists, writers, and filmmakers. She is described as their raven-haired, black-clad muse, and roamed the Paris's Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood after World War II.
"Her death was widely reported by French media, but information on the cause was not immediately available," reports the Washington Post:
In her music, Ms. Gréco conveyed an intense world-weariness that was a bittersweet reflection of her life. She had been on her own from the age of 16, when the Gestapo deported her mother, a member of the French Resistance during World War II, to a concentration camp.
Ms. Gréco made her way to Paris and kept company with writers and artists, including Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Cocteau and Albert Camus. They held court in smoke-filled bars and cafes until dawn and adopted Ms. Gréco as one of their own. Her spellbinding voice, husky and intimate, moved Sartre to write songs for her, calling them "lusterless" words that became "precious stones" in her mouth.
Ms. Gréco also turned heads with her looks — her high cheekbones and her deep-set, almond-shaped eyes. Leading French photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau captured her as an incandescent, waifish beatnik, the embodiment of Left Bank chic.
Read more at the Washington Post: Juliette Gréco, spellbinding French concert and recording star, dies at 93