Joseph Ira Dassin (November 5th 1938- August 20th 1980), known as Joe Dassin, was a French-American Jewish actor and singer.
Born in Tahiti to Jules Dassin, an american director of eastern european origin, and Beatrice Launer, an austrian jewish violinist, graduate of Juilliard Academy of Music. Dassin grew up in America, living in Los Angele and New York, but migrated to various countries in Europe with his family after his father became a victim of Mccarthyism.
Following his studies in the International school of Geneva and in La Russie Boarding school in Switzerland, Dassin returned to the US to study at Michigan University in Ann Arbor. He Graduated with B.A and M.B.A in Anthropology. He then returned to France, where he worked at a radio station and began recording his songs.
His songs rose In popularity and in the beginning of the 1970s they were widely known in all of france. Dassin was proficient in many languages and recorded songs in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Greek. His songs were characterized with great sentiment, his voice sensitive and touching. Dassin participated in the songwriting of many of his songs.
His most popular songs include: L’ete Indien(an indian summer), Les Champs Elysées, Et si tu n'existais pas(if you didnt exist), Siffler sur la colline(whistling on the hill).
Dassin acted in a number of films, some were directed by his father (Topkapi in 1964 and Survival 1967 in 1968, which was about the Six Day War).
In January 18 1966 Dassin married Marrisa Masierra in Paris. Their only son was born on September 12th 1972, and passed 5 days later. The tragedy was detrimental to their relationship. They decided to divorce in 1977.
In January 1978 he married Krisitn Delvaux. They had two boys, Julian and Jonathan, who followed in their father’s steps and are active singers today.
Joe Dassin died of a heart attack while on vacation in Tahiti on August 20th 1980, and was buried in “Beit Olam”, the jewish part of “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” in Hollywood. His widow Kristin died in December of 1995.