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.


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".

His best known film as an actor was Judex, directed by Georges Franju, which was being filmed at the time of Piaf's death.

Sarapo died tragically at the age of 34 at the side of the road in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, following an automobile accident on August 28, 1970 in the commune of Panazol. He is buried beside Piaf and her daughter Marcelle (by lover Louis Dupont) in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The motto on their tomb translates as "Love Conquers All". Edith's father, Louis Alphonse Gassion (she was born Edith Giovanna Gassion) is also buried in the tomb (his name is engraved on the right side of the tombstone along with Edith's & Théo's). Marcelle's name is engraved on the opposite side. Engraved at the foot of the tomb are the words, "Famille (Family) Gassion-Piaf."

Edith Piaf[edit]

Sarapo was the last in a long line of Piaf discoveries (including Yves Montand, Les Compagnons de la chanson, Georges Moustaki, etc.). Sarapo often recorded and performed in concert with Piaf during their marriage.

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.

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