It has been 36 years since the death of 40-year-old Jean Seberg who was last seen alive on August 30, 1979 and discovered in her white Renault automobile several days later, close to her Paris apartment.
This was a time in which there was no internet, no tweeting, no emails, no cable TV in every home. News in the U.S. was learned by television, radio and newspapers.
The first reports of Jean's death were on radio in which at the top of every hour was a recap of breaking and recent news stories. The-then three networks all carried stories about Jean's death in their national evening news shows, and the following morning so did most every U.S. newspaper.
Jean hadn't made a major American theatrical film since Airport ten years earlier, and her last American film was for ABC-Television (Mousey with Kirk Douglas) in 1974. But she was still a name and still working. In fact, she was working on a film at the time of her death.
News of her death spread throughout the world, to the sadness of her co-stars and directors, family and friends, and her fans.
It is interesting to note that in all these years following her death, fans flock to her grave in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris. Gifts, notes, remembrances are left by them on the site--and are disposed of weekly to keep the area uncluttered.
Jean Seberg, Bonjour Tristesse.
"In France, Jean is still regarded as the quintessential American girl in Paris, the free spirit. Scarcely a day passes when someone doesn't stop and linger at the site, bringing an offering--and perhaps, too, another promise never to forget." (Garry McGee, Jean Seberg--Breathless)
Watch for Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg at film festivals in the U.S., art theaters and other venues this year, and international film festivals and the DVD release in 2016.
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