Juliette Greco – passion born out of pain

Juliette Greco, the singer who became the muse of bohemian postwar Paris, the musical embodiment of the existentialist movement, has died aged 93. She was the darling of philosophers, poets, intellectuals and critics – Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir and others. Jean Paul Sartre, who composed lyrics for her, said “Gréco has a million poems in her voice. It is like a warm light that revives the embers burning inside of us all. In her mouth, my words become precious stones.”

  The composer Ernest Lubin praised her “deep, throaty voice that ranges from a near whisper to raucous abandon,” and her ability to “create a mood of astonishing intensity and conviction.”

  Her talent and emotional resilience were all the more astonishing given the trauma and horrors of her early life. She was born 7 February 1927 9pm Montpellier, France with an absent Corsican father and distant mother. According to wiki her mother referred to her as a child of rape and abandoned her and her sister to her maternal grandparents. When they died, during the war in Paris she and her sister rejoined her mother who was working for the Resistance. All three were captured by the Gestapo and tortured with her older sister and mother being sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp.  She was let out of prison after several months; and after the war found her sister and mother who had survived though in bad condition. Her mother subsequently left the sisters to live in Indochina. Juliette, not yet 20, lived alone in Paris, taking acting classes paid for by a family friend.

  She had a Sun Aquarius, as befits a bohemian icon, in her entertaining and performing 5th alongside Mercury opposition musical Neptune and squaring an intense and dark Mars in Taurus in her 8th house. Mars in Taurus is ultra-determined especially as a focal planet and buried in the 8th would give her a sense of the evils of the world. She also had an influential and controlling Pluto in the 10th with her Cancer Node conjunct her Midheaven trine Venus Jupiter in Pisces, sextiling onto her Moon in Taurus. Taurus rules the throat so is often found in singer’s charts. She also had a tricky, karmic/fated Yod of Moon sextile North Node Midheaven inconjunct Saturn in Sagittarius which would indicate a life of struggle and frustration. Though as with all Saturnine burdens, it would ease through life. But it’s a really tough chart.

  Her Venus also squared Saturn, which given its connection to a highly-sexed approach to life, is interesting. She was married three times and had countless lovers, including Miles Davis whom she knew throughout her life; Quincy Jones, Sacha Distel, Albert Camus, Darryl F Zanuck amongst others.

An extraordinary woman.

3 thoughts on “Juliette Greco – passion born out of pain

  1. Thank you for this tribute.
    She was indeed an intense woman, that’s probably the reason why her career spanned more than seven decades.
    I will remember her deep raspy voice, her Black Eye look and her role in « Belphegor, the Phantom of the Louvre », a thriller which both scared me and fascinated me when I was a kid.
    Rest in peace Juliette!

  2. Poor Juliette, has there ever been such – nothing – in someone’s eyes? what a dreadful history, but did she really survive? terrible……

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