Jacques Barzaghi, a former fixture alongside Jerry Brown, dies at 82

Jacques Barzaghi, a former fixture alongside Jerry Brown, dies at 82

Jacques Georges Barzaghi was born on July 26, 1938 in the small town of Beausoleil in the south of France, near Monaco. His father, René Barzaghi, who was part of the French Resistance during World War II, was an officer in the French merchant navy. He and Jacques’ mother, Marie Louise (Denoix) Barzaghi, separated when Jacques was 6. Basically abandoned by his parents, Jacques was raised by his paternal grandmother.

He left for Paris at the age of 16, before graduating from high school. He stood in for theater and film people and found work as an actor, under the stage name Lorenzo Poldi. He joined the French army at the age of 18 and served for a short time until he was wounded and returned to Paris. There, charmed by New Wave film directors such as François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, he threw himself into directing.

After the student uprisings of 1968 in Paris, Mr. Barzaghi moved to West Hollywood and worked briefly in the film industry. One night at a party in Laurel Canyon, he struck up a conversation with a man about movies, relationships, and the Navajo, only to learn later that this stranger was California’s Secretary of State, Mr. brown. His disrespect, he told The New York Times, “was the key to contacting” him.

Some thought Mr. Barzaghi a bit far away. “When asked a question, he will stare for a long time, during which the words you have just spoken seem to sound silly,” The Los Angeles Times wrote. “Then he’ll make a cryptic comment like, ‘Don’t sell the bear’s skin until you shoot the bear.'”

Others found him a fundamental influence on “Governor Moonbeam,” such as Mr. Brown was mentioned in more derisive circles, a reference to his sometimes eccentric New Age tendencies. “I was beginning to think that Barzaghi was the ballast for Jerry Brown’s ship,” a Brown employee told The Washington Post in 1992. “He gave stability. He was the calm at the center of the storm.”

There was little rest in Mr. Barzaghi’s personal life: in the course of six marriages and six divorces, he fathered eight children. Besides Tatiana Barzaghi, he leaves behind two other daughters, Jessica Doherty and Edwina Barzaghi; five sons, Ky, Rashad, Akira, Hassan, and Salam Barzaghi; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

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