CULTURE

A secret Edith Piaf letter reveals secret passion for Dimitris Horn

French singing legend Edith Piaf, known for her legion of doomed romances, fell secretly in love with a celebrated Greek actor, according to a love letter to go on auction later this month. «I love you like I have never loved before. Taki, do not let my heart die!» wrote Piaf in a letter addressed to Dimitris Horn, according to the owner of the Greek auctioneers that is selling the letter, Petros Vergos. The letter was sent to Athens from Ajaccio in Corsica on September 20, 1946. «This four-page letter is 100 percent genuine. It was passed down along with its envelope by one of Horn’s parents, who found it after his death,» Vergos told AFP. «It also came with a telegram from Piaf dated November 1946 and it asked the actor to write to her at her friend’s house,» he added. An extract of Piaf’s letter is published in the auction house catalog, ahead of its sale in Athens on December 17 for a starting price of 1,000 euros ($1,275). In it she told Horn: «I would like to live by your side. It seems to me that I would really know how to make you happy and I also believe that I understand you terribly. I know that I would be able to give up everything for you.» She also urged him to meet her in the USA and then in Paris. Piaf, then aged 31, met the 25-year-old actor, known as Taki, during one of her concerts in Athens on September 18, according to Vergos. «She clearly experienced love at first sight and their meeting was not only platonic,» he said. «To my knowledge, the two did not continue their love affair, perhaps because Horn did not share the same feelings.» Described as the best actor of his generation, Dimitris Horn later married shipping heiress Anna Goulandris. He died in 1998. Piaf, who died of cancer in 1963 aged 47, is best known for her songs «Non, je ne regrette rien» and «La Vie en rose,» which captured her indomitable spirit and experience of love and death. The man considered the love of her life, French boxer Marcel Cerdan, died in a plane crash in 1949. (AFP)