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Jean Seberg

Real name: Jean Seberg
Birthdate: November 13, 1938
Status: Married
Partner: Ahmed Hasmi

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Jean Seberg (November 13, 1938 – September 8, 1979) was an American actress. She starred in 34 films in Hollywood and in France. Seberg became even more of an icon after her roles in numerous French films and the tragedy of her turbulent life.

Seberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa to Edward Seberg and Dorothy Benson. Her family background was Lutheran.

Seberg was discovered by Otto Preminger, who directed her in her first two films. She made her film debut in 1957 in the title role of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan. She secured the role after being chosen from 18,000 hopeful actresses. The young Seberg was then thrust into the glaring spotlight and subject of countless Cinderella stories. Expectations were high. When the film was released, reviews were generally mediocre, praising Jean's fresh beauty, but finding her in over her head playing Joan. Preminger never came to her defense. 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). Seberg also appeared in the 1959 classic Peter Sellers comedy, The Mouse that Roared. In 1969, she appeared in her first and only musical film, Paint Your Wagon, based on Lerner and Loewe's stage musical, but her voice was dubbed. She was one of the many stars in the 1970 disaster film, Airport.

Seberg's problems were compounded when she went through a form of marriage to an Algerian playboy, Ahmed Hasni, on May 31, 1979. The brief ceremony had no legal force because she had taken film director Dennis Charles Berry as her third husband in 1972 and the marriage was still valid In July, Hasni persuaded her to sell her opulent apartment on the Rue du Bac, and he kept the proceeds (reportedly 11 million francs in cash), announcing that he would use the money to open a Barcelona restaurant. The couple departed for Spain but she was soon back in Paris alone, and went into hiding from Hasni, who she said had grievously abused her.

Mexican author Carlos Fuentes' novel Diana, The Goddess Who Hunts Alone (1994) is a fictionalized account of an alleged affair with Seberg, although it has not been proven whether the claims of the adulterous liaison - as both were married to others at the supposed time- is fact or just a flight of fancy. In 1995, a documentary of her life was made by Mark Rappaport, titled From the Journals of Jean Seberg. Mary Beth Hurt played Seberg in a voice-over. Coincidentally, Hurt was also born in Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1946, and attended the same high school as Seberg. Seberg was for a short time Hurt's babysitter. A musical, Jean Seberg, by librettist Julian Barry, composer Marvin Hamlisch, and lyricist Christopher Adler, based on Seberg's life, was presented in 1983 at the National Theatre in London.

The short 2000 film Je T'aime John Wayne 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. The British band, The Divine Comedy, make reference to 'Little Jean Seberg' in their song titled "Absent Friends".

In 2004, the French author Alain Absire published Jean S., a fictionalised biography. Seberg's son Alexandre Diego Gary brought a lawsuit unsuccessfully attempting to stop publication.


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