Françoise Hardy Dies: French Singer & ‘Grand Prix’ Actor Was 80

Françoise Hardy Dies: French Singer & ‘Grand Prix’ Actor Was 80

Françoise Hardy, a popular French singer and actor who had numerous Top 10 albums and singles in Europe and appeared in films including Grand Prix, has died June 11 at 80. Her son, Thomas DuTronc, revealed the news on social media but did not provide details, writing only, “Maman est partie” (mom is gone).

Hardy was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago and had been in declining health.

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She broke out with the 1962 hit “Tous les garçons et les filles,” which topped the singles charts in her homeland and several other countries. She followed that with a second French No. 1, “C’est à l’amour auquel je pense,” later that year.

Known for her melancholic style, Hardy epitomized the “yé-yé” wave. She amassed nearly a dozen Top 10 singles in France through the 1960s, and scored nine Top 10 albums there, the most recent in 2018. She remains among the best-selling French recording artists.

Hardy also had success in Belgium, Germany and French-speaking Canada, along with three mid-’60s Top 30 singles in the UK, but never charted in the U.S. Still, she ranked No. 162 on Rolling Stone‘s 2023 list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time. She “epitomized French cool and Gallic heat simultaneously,” the magazine wrote.

Born on January 17, 1944, in Nazi-occupied Paris, she also had a film career in the 1960s and ’70s highlighted by Grand Prix, John Frankenheimer’s road-racing drama starring James Garner and Eva Marie Saint. It won three Oscars, for Sound, Sound Effects and Editing.

She also authored several fiction and nonfiction books and had a side career in astrology.

Hardy was married to French singer-songwriter Jacques Dutronc in the 1980s, and they had one child, Thomas, also a recording artist.


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