Romeo and Juliette
Juliette Gréco’s recent death in her 90s brought back some melodramatic memories. Back in 1957 Gréco was one of France’s premier chanteuses of torch songs, a very sexy young woman all dressed in black with auburn hair and very white skin, who sang of doomed love and romantic longing. Darryl F. Zanuck, the legendary ex-head of 20th Century Fox, had fallen rather hard when he saw her perform in a Parisian Left Bank bistro and decided to make her a film star. While casting The Roots of Heaven, the movie that would be her introduction, Zanuck and La Gréco had moved to the French Riviera, where Zanuck gambled very large sums at the chemmy table every night at the Cannes summer casino. Juliette sat next to him and played every hand he did but in much smaller sums.
Rather far away from the French Riviera, a 20-year-old me was a struggling tennis player on the circuit, and in August of 1957, after a heartbreaking lo
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