Theophanis Lamboukas

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Theophanis Lamboukas (r.) with his wife Édith Piaf in 1962.

Theophanis Lamboukas, known as Théo Sarapo (26 January 1936 – 28 August 1970) was the second husband of the French singer Édith Piaf. Formerly a hairdresser, he was 26 years old when he married the 46-year-old Piaf. He was introduced to her by Claude Figus, Piaf's secretary.

Biography[edit]

Sarapo was born in Paris. A handsome actor-singer of Greek heritage, he scored a hit with Piaf in 1962 with the song À quoi ça sert l'amour? (What Good Is Love?). Having by Gallic law inherited Piaf's seven million francs worth of debts, Sarapo was evicted from the apartment they shared on Boulevard Lannes on Christmas Day 1963, and recorded "La maison qui ne chante plus" (the house which no longer sings), which also became a hit; another big hit was "Le jour viendra", which became in English "Our Day Will Come". When he began singing with Piaf, his voice was very nasal, but over the next few years he developed a tone which was breathtakingly mellow. His other hits included "La Ronde" and "Nous n'étions pas pareils". He was an able actor whose best known film was Judex, directed by Georges Franju, which was being filmed at the time of Piaf's death. Sarapo died at the side of the road in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, following an automobile accident on 28 August 1970. He is buried beside Piaf and her daughter Marcelle (by lover Louis Dupont) in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Their motto on their tomb translates as "Love Conquers All". There is a fourth person buried in this tomb - Edith's father, Louis Alphonse Gassion (she was born Edith Giovanna Gassion). His name is engraved on the right side of the tombstone along with Edith's & Théo's. Her daughter Marcelle's is engraved on the opposite side. Engraved at the foot, 'Famille Gassion-Piaf.

Edith Piaf[edit]

Sarapo was the last in a long line of Piaf discoveries (Yves Montand, Les Compagnons de la chanson, Georges Moustaki, etc.). He would often record and perform with his wife Edith Piaf in her later career.

Stage name[edit]

His stage name "Sarapo", as pronounced in French, is Greek for "I love you" (Σ‘αγαπώ, s'agapo), and was chosen by Piaf herself.

External links[edit]