Jean Seberg

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Jean Seberg

Jean Seberg (November 13, 1938 - September 8, 1979) was an American actress born in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA who spent an important part of her career in France.

She was discovered by Otto Preminger, who directed her in her first two motion pictures. She would go on to star in thirty-four films in Hollywood and in France where she lived in Paris with her first husband, attorney Francois Moreuil. She became even more of an icon from her roles in numerous French films and the tragedy of her turbulent life. Among her roles, she co-starred with Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Luc Godard's classic work of New Wave cinema, Breathless (original French title: A bout de souffle).

During the latter part of the 1960s, Seberg used her high-profile image to voice support for the NAACP and supported native American school groups such as the Mesquakie Bucks at the Tama settlement near her home town of Marshalltown, for whom she purchased $500 worth of basketball uniforms. She supported the Black Panther Party. Then FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, since proven to have illegally kept large files on private citizens, considered her a threat and in 1970, when she was seven months pregnant, created a story to leak to the media that the child she was carrying was not fathered by her second husband, Romain Gary, but by a black civil rights activist. Before Hoover's plan to disgrace her could be implemented, the story was reported by the Los Angeles Times newspaper and Newsweek magazine. In a press conference after the miscarriage she presented the press with a viewing of her fetus to demonstrate that the child did not have a father of African heritage and to expose the malevolent falsehood of the claim used by the FBI in its illegal COINTELPRO effort to discredit her and violate her exercise of her constitutionally protected rights. Seberg stated that the trauma of this event brought on premature labor and her child was stillborn. According to Seberg's husband, after the loss of their child she suffered from a deep depression and became suicidal.

She made several attempts to take her own life, including throwing herself under a train on the Paris Métro. Miraculously, she survived the incident, but less than a year later, in August 1979, she went missing and was found dead eleven days later in the back seat of her car in a Paris suburb. The police report stated that she had taken a massive overdose of barbiturates and alcohol (8g per litre).

Jean Seberg was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, France.

In 1995 a documentary of her life was made titled: Jean Seberg: American Actress.

The short film Je T'aime John Wayne 2000, is a tribute parody of Breathless, with Camilla Rutherford playing Seberg's role.

Actress Kirsten Dunst has proposed making a film about Seberg's life.

Her second husband, Romain Gary, with whom she had a son, Alexandre Diego Gary, also committed suicide a year after her death.

Some of Jean Seberg's films were:

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