13 Jan 2009

Death of 'legendary' French film director

1:58 pm on 13 January 2009

French film director and producer Claude Berri, has died of a stroke at the age of 74.

Berri was best known for a two-part series on life in Provence: Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources . He earlier won an Oscar for his 1963 short film Le Poulet.

He was admitted to hospital in Paris on Saturday.

President Nicholas Sarkozy callled him "legendary".

Berri suffered a stroke in 2006 and had been ill for some time.

Last year, he was one of the producers of the record-breaking comedy Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis, which became the highest-grossing film in French box-office history and is due to be remade in Hollywood under the title Welcome to the Sticks.

Before his death, Berri was directing his 20th film, a comedy called Tresor.