Zizi Jeanmaire


Zizi Jeanmaire has died aged 96. She was a dancer, whom people who talked like Marlene Dietrich danced like. Their clothes were all made by Balmain too. Sadly, the well respected social historian Peter Sarstedt left us with that information alone. Aside from a mention in the most annoyingly catchy song of the 1960s, Jeanmaire was a highly considered ballet dancer who effortlessly transferred from stage to Hollywood. In Hollywood, she was best known for her role opposite Bing Crosby in the adaptation of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. On stage, Carmen was the role she defined as her own, with her performances in London in the 1950s lingering long in the memories of those who saw them. She moved into revue, singing and fashion, and remained a popular figure in fashion shows (via a friendship with Yves St Laurent) into old age. And if some only know her from that song, well, Marlene Dietrich was a fantastic actress, a renowned humanitarian and once offered to assassinate Hitler, so you know, the comparison only makes Zizi Jeanmaire seem as important, even after her fame begins to decline.

She was unique for Vive la France…et la mort.


Zizi Jeanmaire
29 April 1924 – 17 July 2020