Regine is dead

The nights will never have been darker, grab the packets of tissue paper: Régine has passed away.

At the age of 92, the Queen of the Night, also a flamboyant personality by day, left us just two years after the death of her younger brother, Maurice Bidermann. The clothes of the light, the jewels and the boa will remain in the closet, but the tributes of the orphans of this great lady of heart will not fail to rain.

We certainly never knew who Zoa was, but Régine, we knew her well. And rightly so: boss of anthology clubs, singer, friend of the stars and star surrounded by friends, businesswoman, actress, reality TV candidate, the native of Anderlecht, Parisian and Tropézienne by adoption and godmother of the world’s jet set is a must more than six decades, since the opening in 1956 of its very first nightclub, Chez Régine, in the heart of the bustling Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. There are few, those who have made a first name without needing a name, and theirs already – that of a queen born: “regina”, in Latin – is then at the top of the poster – to a tube by Charles Aznavour, who will write him a few years after the naughty song Nounours (1965).

Born on December 26, 1929 in Anderlecht, Belgium, to Polish-Jewish parents who had returned from Argentina, Régine Zylberberg met Paris at the age of 3, but after their mother returned to Latin America, her childhood and that of his brother Maurice. During the Second World War, it was in the South, where she would later return (the years of Nîmes…), that her gift for singing and partying was revealed while her father, an inveterate player, foamed the casino of Aix all night long. -en-Provence. When the war ended, he entrusted her with the management of the cafe he opened in Paris and she fell in love with the sounds and dances of the moment, straight from across the Atlantic. Her frequent visits to the Côte d’Azur, where she acted for a time as a saleswoman, her stars on the road and her clubs where it is well seen in the early 1950s, will complete her profile as queen of the party: in 1956 rue du Four in Paris Chez Régine was born, the first of many highly regarded clubs that the one immediately nicknamed “The Queen of the Night” would lead around the world (from Nîmes and its outrageous parties in the Cheval Blanc Régine’s Hotel, staged by Starck and Wimotte, in… New York, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur…), times and fashion. Until the mid-2000s, when at the age of 70, the icon of the jet set nights stopped operating. Which didn’t stop him from enjoying a kind of anniversary in 2009 at his club on the rue de Ponthieu, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées, for the release of a perfume and the promotion of an album of duets. duets.

Because, like the spirit of the party, the love of singing, born in childhood and inducted in 1967 by the Charles-Cros Academy, has never left her and led her to the most prestigious stages, from the Olympia at Carnegie Hall , until a final tour in 2016, and the guests of that evening could undoubtedly testify to that today. For her duets, 54 years after Aznavour’s Nounours, Henri Salvador’s Forget Me and Gainsbourg’s Les P’tits papiers, Régine in particular offered a soft crumple of crumpled voices with Jane Birkin to resume The little papers by Serge, a peak of gentle naughtiness with Edouard Baer (Open your mouth, close your eyes), sassy and sulphurous jewels with Bernard Lavilliers (L’Emmerdeuse) and Arthur H (Capone and his little Phyllis), festive caviar with Didier Wampas ( La Grande Zoa) and Cali (J’vien’s dancer), and, not to be missed, a revised I Will Survive with Julia Migenes.

We can dream, daydream about what we wish we were“, sang Régine in Gueule de nuit, written by Barbara. She must have been many. Including actress, between Jean-Louis Trintignant and Romy Schneider in The train (1973) by Pierre Granier-Deferre, overlooking the Ripoux (1984) Philippe Noiret and Thierry Lhermitte for Claude Zidi… The youngest could even discover her on the small screen in 2005 in the reality TV game La Ferme Celebrities, in which she participated for the benefit of the association SOS Drogue International, which they had founded 20 years earlier. We might even have known her as a theater actress in 2006, if a heart attack hadn’t prevented her from taking part in a play by Laurent Ruquier.

Régine was the mother of a son, the great journalist emeritus Lionel Rotcage, from her first marriage. Dragged away by lung cancer in 2006 at the age of 58, in 2010 she dedicated the book To you Lionel, my son (Flammarion). She was married in 1969 in the second marriage to Roger Choukroun, witnessed by one of her friends from the very beginning, known as the white wolf Chez Régine, Françoise Sagan.

Don’t look for mystery, I have none. I have a good character, but don’t do it, don’t push grandma with a misstep, ah“, sang Régine again in the words of Barbara. A very Parisian jest, a very southern sun, an energy of feria and the radiance of a planetary star: the queen is dead, but as long as she is loved she will survive .”We can dream, daydream about what we wish we were, to be, but it’s done, it’s classified. it might not be so bad to be here at the end of the day, the face of love, it’s almost night, the face of night. In a dress of light, I’ll be on business, comeAnd a whiskey for his boa.

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