PLAYED OUT. THE JEAN SEBERG STORY.
Played Out "is a superbly told story of a Cinderella who didn't fit the shoe, In a kingdom ruled by suspect princes. Played Out is played out against a backdrop of one of America's unhappier landscapes. Richards tells the tragedy of Jean Seberg's life and death with sympathy and understanding and it is written in the grand style of a genuine American tragedy." - Vincent Price.
Jean Seberg was forty when a policeman in the 16th arrondisement in Paris discovered her disintegrating body under a crumpled blanket in the back seat of a white Renault. A bottle of mineral water and an empty tube of barbiturates lay at her side. She had been dead for ten days - the police verdict: suicide.
What happened to the all-American girl is not just a Cinderella story turned macabre and ugly. In many ways, the story of Seberg's growing up is the story America growing up. She came from the nation's heartland and seemingly epitomized its health and optimism. Drawn into the civil rights struggle during the 1960's. she was exploited for her well-meaning beliefs as she herself used the cause for her own psychological needs.
David Richards, the author of this fascinating book, has uncovered the most extraordinary information about Seberg's relations with the Black Panthers, with the FBI, with her own child, and with such personalities as Otto Preminger; her second husband, Romain Gary (who subsequently also committed suicide); and various well-known film stars and directors in this country and abroad. Mr Richards has unraveled the complicated stories of the births of Seberg's two children, and particularly of the premature birth and death of Nina, the child whom the FBI publicized as 'of a Black Panther.'
Seberg's career is also explored. Her movie debut was, in fact, a fiasco; yet Vincent Canby, in the New York Times, recently called her 'one of the most enigmatic and appealing movie stars of the 1960's'. Her work in films like Breathless, Lilith and Paint Your Wagon showed that under the right circumstances, she could be an accomplished actress.
In the end, Seberg was the victim of the dreams of her generation. She drank too much, took drugs, seemed to have a talent for becoming involved in complex and destructive relationships. Her story is compelling and, in this book, sensitively and beautifully told.