Dalida femme fatale – Yolanda Christina Gigliotti
Dalida femme fatale
One of the greatest singers of 20 century Delilah or Dalida (Yolanda Christina Gigliotti) was born 17 January 1933. Italian by nationality, born and raised in Egypt, she lived in France. The beautiful and successful singer, she sang about 500 songs in French, about 200 in her native Italian, and nearly 200 songs in other languages. In 2008, the authoritative French scientific publishing house conducted a survey to find out the personalities, the most influential French society. Delilah took the second place, losing only to Charles de Gaulle.
Yolanda – the fourth child born to light with difficulty. She was born almost blue, and her parents were terrified that she would die. So, she was baptized immediately. Therefore, fear of suffocation would later accompany her loneliness.
When the girl was 10 years old, her eye caught the infection. The child, on the advice of doctors, was blindfolded for forty days. Black armband protected her and irritated. The father said: “it is necessary for you, to be beautiful and to have the same beautiful eyes as the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’s “. Up to four years, two operations were made.
The girl had to wear huge glasses to protect eyes from the bright sun of Egypt. At school she was nicknamed “four-eyed”. At 13, Yolanda threw away her glasses. From the ugly duckling she became a charming girl. Yolanda studied in Catholic school, where she was taught Arabic, French, English and was involved in school theater productions on biblical subjects. Here for the first time she showed her acting talent.
In 1954 she became Miss Egypt, after which she was asked to star in the movie. She chose acting nickname “Delilah” in honor of the biblical character. Then, already in Paris she changed Yolanda to Delilah.
This name will become fatal for her. The biblical Delilah took away Samson’s secret of strength. Delilah, the “woman in the valley of Sorek” whom Samson loved, and who was his downfall. Her figure, one of several dangerous temptresses in the Hebrew bible, has become emblematic. The same way Yolanda took away vital force of her beloved. Three men who loved Yolanda, committed suicide. Yolanda will lose the will to live too, she tried to commit suicide twice. At the second attempt she succeeded.
In 1954, inspired by winning the contest “Miss Egypt”, she sets off to conquer Paris. Delilah took singing lessons, went to auditions, participated in competitions. Due to her south beauty, low voice and turbulent temperament she was called “Black Orchid”. Her first hit was the song “Bambino”
Lucien Morris became fiance of Dalida. Their engagement lasts five years. They got married in 1961, but too late for Morris, Dalida’s feelings had faded away.
She was in love with Jean Sobieski, artist, Polish in origin. Morris takes on divorce and stops relations with Dalida. However, soon they become friends again.
In 1962, Delilah bought a house in Montmartre, where she had lived till the end. In January 1967, Delilah was at the famous festival in San Remo for the first and only time. Her song there – “farewell, farewell to love” – Delilah to the end of her life will be singing it with great emotion and sadness.
The song was written by a young singer and songwriter Luigi Tenco, known only to a narrow circle of intellectuals. San Remo was his chance to get recognized. The song was rejected by the jury. Luigi in despair committed suicide after learning the result of the voting.
Delilah, a month later, too, attempted suicide by drinking a barbiturate. She had been saved. In a coma she spent 90 hours. The recovery was long and painful. For a while Dalida lost voice. She received thousands of letters from France and from all over the world with the love and the sea of flowers.
She was constantly trying to understand why this happened to her, she stopped singing, looking for the meaning of her life. Delilah got interested in philosophy, she read a lot.
In 1069, Dalida met with writer, philosopher Arnaud Desjardins. This meeting inspired Dalida. For a few years they were pen pals. They split, because he was married.
In September, 1970, her first husband Lucien Morisse, with whom she was still on very good terms, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Deeply shocked by his death, she changed her repertoire to sad lyrical songs.
In 1972, Dalida and her close friend Alain Delon recorded the famous “words, words” (“Paroles”). The song became immensely popular. It was played consistently on French radios, at the request of listeners.
In 1972, Dalida was introduced to the artist and adventurer Richard Shamfre, who called himself Saint-Germain. She was happy with him for nine years. Delilah’s beauty blooms. Richard was the last love of Dalida.
Trying to keep up with the times, Delilah sets the tone in a musical fashion. In 1977, Delilah agreed to include in her repertoire songs in Arabic and became a popular singer in the Middle East. She is called the “second Cleopatra of Egypt”.
In July 1983, her lover from 1972 to 1981, Richard Chanfray, committed suicide by inhaling the exhaust gas of his Renault R25 car.
In 1986, Delilah was invited to star in the title role in the Egyptian film “the sixth day”. It was her long-awaited triumph in the movie, and her return to Egypt.
After she broke-up with Richard Chanfray, Dalida had relationships with various anonymous men such as a sound technician, a lawyer, an Egyptian jumbo jet pilot, and lastly a French doctor named Francois during the period 1986-1987.
By this time her personal life did not change for the better, and she takes her fatal loneliness harder. Since the beginning of 1987, Delilah was in depression, more time she spent alone in her empty house with closed shutters.
On Saturday, 2 May 1987, Dalida decided to end her life with an overdose of barbiturates. She left a suicide note which read “Life is unbearable for me… Forgive me”. Dalida was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery, Paris, and a life-size statue of her was erected outside her tomb.
Dalida femme fatale – Yolanda Christina Gigliotti