Nina Hart Gary: What Caused the Death of Jean Seberg’s Daughter?

Nina Hart Gary was the daughter of American actress Jean Dorothy. Nina was a two-day-old infant when she died. Her mother was famous for her performance in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 film Breathless, a role that immortalized her as an icon of French New Wave cinema. Jean Seberg appeared in 34 Hollywood and Europe films and was among the best-known targets of the FBI’s COINTELPRO project. Keep reading to learn more about Nina Hart Gary’s parents and siblings.

Nina Hart Gary Biography

Nina Hart Gary was born on 23 August 1970 and died two days later, on 25 August. Nina succumbed to complications sustained after her mother overdosed on sleeping pills during her pregnancy. She was the daughter of Jean Seberg and a student revolutionary, Carlos Ornelas Navarra. Jean was still married to French novelist and film director Romain Gary when he had an affair with Carlos, whom she met while filming Macho Callahan in Durango. Although Gary claimed responsibility for the pregnancy, Jean Dorothy insisted that Carlos was the father of Nina.

Nina Hart Gary’s Siblings

Nina has an older brother named Alexandre Diego Gary, the son of Jean and her ex-husband, Romain Gary. He was born on 17 July 1962. Diego is a French writer.

Nina Hart Gary’s Parents

Nina’s mother, Jean Dorothy Seberg, was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, on 13 November 1938. Her mother, Dorothy Arline, was a substitute teacher, and her father, Edward Waldermar, was a pharmacist. After high school, Jean enrolled at the University of Iowa to pursue dramatic arts but ended up in filmmaking.

Her film debut was in the title role of the 1957 Saint Joan, having been chosen among 18,000 hopefuls. The film and Jean received poor reviews, but she was cast in Preminger’s next film Bonjour Tristesse in 1958. She later signed a long-term contract with Columbia Pictures, where her first film was the successful comedy The Mouse That Roared in 1959.

Jean based herself in French, where she met Francois Moreuli, who would later become her first husband. She succeeded as the free-love heroine of French New Wave films in France. She was the female lead in Breathless (1960), an international success. Back in the U.S., she was cast in Columbia Picture’s Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960). She also appeared in Time Out for Love (1961), Love Play (1961), Five Day Lover (1962), The World’s Most Beautiful Swindlers, and 1964’s Backfire.

Her last American appearance was in the 1974 television movie Mousey, but she was active in European films like Bianchi cavalla d’Agosto (1975) and Die Wildente (1976). At the time of her birth, Jean was working on the French film Operation Leopard which was reshot to replace her scenes with actress Mimsy Farmer.

Jean Seberg was subject to FBI COINTELPRO operations aimed at stopping her from supporting civil rights groups. The FBI investigation published defamatory aggression and subjected her to years of surveillance.

Jean disappeared from her Paris apartment on 30 August 1979. Eight days later, her decomposing body was found wrapped in a blanket in her Renault, parked close to her apartment. She had a note directed to her son in French in which she apologized for taking her life. According to her second husband, Gary, Jean had been suicidal for a long following the FBI’s fabrications, especially on the anniversary of her daughter’s death, 25 August.

Wrapping Up

Nina Hart Gary’s life was cut short when she died hours after she was born, but her mother lived with the pain until she put an end to her life.