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 years old. Indeed abandoned by his parents, Jacques was brought up by his paternal grandmother.
He left for Paris at 16, before finishing high school. Having come into contact with people from the theater and cinema, he finds work as an actor, taking the stage name Lorenzo Poldi. He joined the French army at 18 and served briefly until he was wounded and returned to Paris. There, in love with directors of the New Wave like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, he tried to direct himself.
After the 1968 student uprisings in Paris, Mr. Barzaghi moved to West Hollywood and worked briefly in the film industry. One evening at a party in Laurel Canyon, he had a conversation with a man about movies, relationships, and the Navajo, only later learning that this stranger was California Secretary of State Mr. Brown. His lack of deference, he told the New York Times, “was the key to connecting” with him.
Some found Mr. Barzaghi a bit distant. “When asked a question, he stares for a long moment, during which the words you just spoke sound like crazy,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. “Then he’ll make a cryptic remark like, ‘Don’t sell the bear skin before you shoot the bear.’ “
Others found him a fundamental influence on “Governor Moonbeam,” as Mr. Brown was called in more mocking quarters, a reference to his sometimes eccentric and New Age tendencies. “I came to think of Barzaghi as the ballast for Jerry Brown’s ship,” said an aide to Brown. told the Washington Post in 1992. “He gave stability. He was the calm in the center of the storm.
There was little calm in Mr. Barzaghi’s personal life: over six marriages and six divorces, he fathered eight children. Besides Tatiana Barzaghi, he is survived by two other daughters, Jessica Doherty and Edwina Barzaghi; five sons, Ky, Rashad, Akira, Hassan and Salam Barzaghi; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.