Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Who was the beautiful ZouZou?
Zouzou (Danièle Ciarlet) was/is an iconic French model, actress and singer of the 1960s and early 1970s. She dated several famous men back in the day, including Brian Jones, and Jack Nicholson. Born on November 29, 1943 ZouZou was a model, actress, singer and icon of the 1960s and early 1970s mostly known for her beauty and for her lead role in Éric Rohmer's "Love In The Afternoon". Her career, however, was constantly hampered by her addiction to heroin and other drugs. The nickname "Zouzou" is due to her lisp.
Being a French model, actress and singer in the 1960s, she didn’t have to seek out work – it came to her. With her slim, almost masculine frame, she was perfect for the androgynous styles being designed by Jean-Paul Goude and she was offered modelling work for him and, later, for Yves Saint Laurent. She gained notoriety for her private life as much as for her work. Of an evening she would frequent the top Parisian nightspots, and her tireless clubbing led to her being dubbed “Zouzou la twisteuse” by Paris-Match magazine . Almost inevitably, she was offered a recording contract with the Vogue label. Her first EP, released in April 1966, comprised four songs composed by the then unknown Jacques Dutronc (he became an extremely successful singer himself shortly afterwards). The lead track was the excellent folk-styled "Il Est Parti Comme Il Est Venu" (see above video).While promoting the release she met Marianne Faithfull and the two became firm friends. The British singer and actress was just one of the stars that Zouzou counted amongst her entourage. That year she became romantically involved with Brian Jones and lived with the Rolling Stones guitarist in London for about a year - even though they did not speak each others language!
In 1967 she returned to the studio to record a follow up EP, featuring Petit garçon as the lead track. Again, she supplied the lyrics, including a French translation of Young girl blues, which folk singer Donovan had offered her and which became Ce samedi soir.
Here's a fairly recent music video of ZouZou & Donovan doing a duet. It's always amazing what time and passing years can do to the young and beautiful.