Jane Birkin turned 69 on Monday. Hard to believe but for the francophiles among us she has been an indelible cultural icon for a very long time, even if only through the infamously banned Gainsbourg duet, Je t’aime (moi non plus). Her impressive screen career continues apace, albeit overtaken somewhat by her Gainsbourg interpretations and lately by the sad death of her daughter the photographer Kate Barry – from an absurdly early first marriage to composer John Barry. While she is probably best known in the English-speaking world for early roles in The Knack and Blow-Up, she later appeared in the starry Agatha Christie ensembles Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun. Otherwise she impressed under the direction of major figures like Tavernier in These Foolish Things/Daddy Nostalgie opposite the wonderful Dirk Bogarde and Jacques Rivette in La Belle Noiseuse. A sexy film opposite Brigitte Bardot (who did the first recording of the notorious Je t’aime...) Don Juan, secured her own sex kitten persona which was never in doubt once she became the muse for Serge Gainsbourg, father of actress Charlotte. She is a renaissance woman. Melody Nelson, we salute you. Joyeuse anniversaire.