Michel Berger died 30 years ago: this fatal tennis game for the singer

Michel Berger died 30 years ago: this fatal tennis game for the singer

A true phenomenon of the 80s and 90s, Michel Berger was at the height of glory on the stage and at a crossroads in life, when on August 2, 1992, his heart stopped at Ramatuelle.

Unavoidable Michael Berger, his songs and his music have remained in the legend of French song despite the decades that have passed since August 2, 1992, when at the bend of a game of tennis on his property in Ramatuelle, his heart definitely bowed out.

Surrounded by his friends and family for the holidays, Michel Berger dies suddenly in the middle of a tennis game

This was their ritual for the holidays: Michel Berger and France Gall, married for 16 years, were on their Ramatuelle property, like every summer, reveals Le Parisien in an article for this Sunday, July 31. Friends, family, “Michel likes it when there are a lot of people, when it’s happening”, had entrusted France Gall to a journalist from Parisian who came that day to interview the couple-star on the occasion of the tour that together they had planned. This will be his last public speech, in the first sense of the term. As Le Parisien reveals, Michel Berger was available, affable and attempted a self-description, “in shorts and a green shirt” “A lot of people think I’m jaded, cold, docile. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I have a modesty and a distraction in me that make France treat me of Professor Tournesol. But I also have a real revolt against an unfair world where it is too difficult to be completely happy.”

These words will unfortunately ring true: at 5 p.m., on the departure of the journalist, Michel Berger, France Gall and their friends took to the property’s tennis court. It is still very hot in the Var, at least 30 degrees. The laughter fuses, the friends are there. Michel Berger puts down his racquet after a few balls and hands his bottle of water to Claude-Michel Schönberg, his friend and neighbor in Ramatuelle. With him, every day, he played chess after meals by the beach, then tennis matches, often in doubles, followed by dinners with friends. Claude-Michel Schönberg also confided “Michel preferred that to a lot of social events that his status imposed on him” As he had to be absent to go see “Ruy Blas” with Lambert Wilson at the Ramatuelle festival, no one is surprised by Michel Berger’s departure from the court. But twenty minutes later, a cry comes to whistle the end of the perfect vacation in Ramatuelle. At 44, Michel Berger suffered a cardiac arrest from which he would not recover, on August 2, 1992. It was not the first episode, since two years earlier, a first illness had occurred without him treating it. After complicated years, he who intended to conquer America, start a tour around the world with France Gall, finished his race after this game too many. “Someone may be there to remember that I was there” he sang on his latest album “Double Jeu”. It’s been 30 years and we still remember it.

© RINDOFF-PATERSON

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Michael Berger
Very friendly with Johnny Hallyday, he had come to lunch at his home in Ramatuelle, a few days before his death

© RINDOFF-PATERSON

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Michael Berger
Broke in full swing, Michel Berger had ongoing projects with France Gall, his wife

© RINDOFF-PATERSON

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Michael Berger
With Johnny Hallyday they were friends and performed on stage in 1986

© RINDOFF-PATERSON

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Michael Berger
His songs are still timeless today.

© BERTRAND RINDOFF PETROFF

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Michel Berger and France Gall
Couple on stage and in life, they had two children together

© CHARRIAU

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Michael Berger
Author, composer, performer, he remained in the legend of French song

© AGENCY

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Michael Berger
What he loved were the evenings with friends, especially during his holidays.

© AGENCY

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France Gall
Raphaël and Pauline were still children when Michel Berger suddenly died

© AGENCY

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France Gall
Pauline, 13 when her father died, had cystic fibrosis. She died in 1997

© JUNIOR

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France Gall
Despite the hardships, France Gall continued to keep the memory of Michel Berger alive

© Christopher Clovis

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France Gall
The singer also died in 2018.

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