Tuesday, 13 January 2009

'Legendary' director Berri dies

French director and producer Claude Berri, best known for Jean de Florette, has died of a stroke at the age of 74.

He passed away in a Paris hospital, where he was admitted on Saturday.

Known as the "godfather" of French film, Berri worked with generations of top French actors and won an Oscar for his 1963 short film Le Poulet.

His work includes the two-part saga on life in Provence, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources. President Nicolas Sarkozy callled him "legendary".

Born Claude Langmann to working-class parents in Paris, he started his cinematic career as an actor but gave it up to concentrate on making short films.