French Singer And Actor, Jean-Paul Vignon, Passes Away At 89

The romantic French singer and actor Jean-Paul Vignon, who dazzled audiences across the Atlantic over the course of an eight-decade career, has passed away in Beverly Hills on March 22 from liver cancer, according to his family. He was 89 years.

Vignon made his American debut in 1963 as the opening act for stand-up comedian Woody Allen at the renowned supper club The Blue Angel in New York, performing a repertoire of modern pop and American standards. He would soon be featured eight times on Ed Sullivan’s Sunday night CBS variety show, including a duet with a young Liza Minnelli.

He also started appearing frequently on Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin’s shows. After joining Columbia Records, Vignon put out his debut album in the United States, Because I Love You, in 1964. He starred in a minor part in the World War II movie The Devil’s Brigade, starring alongside Cliff Robertson and William Holden, three years later.

Although his career was halted by shifting audience preferences, he did host The Sensuous Man, a Canadian TV program produced by Dick Clark, which concluded with him lounging in a bathtub every week. Situated in the former French Somaliland (now known as Djibouti) port city of Dire-Daou, Vignon had his education in Avignon, France, where he was born on January 30, 1935.

His short studies in law at the Sorbonne in Paris and medicine in Marseille were abandoned in favor of a full-time career in music. He is survived by his longtime partner, Suzie Summers; his two daughters Marguerite Vignon Gaul (from his union to the late American actress Brigid Bazlen) and Lucy Brank; alongside two granddaughters Leah and Hannah.

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