Actress, author of TV's 'Belle and Sebastian' dies at 81

20th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Cecile Aubry, a French film star turned author and writer of the popular 60s TV series "Belle and Sebastian", has died aged 81 after a long battle against lung cancer, her family said Tuesday.

Aubry, who in a fairy-tale life was signed up by 20th Century Fox at 20 before marrying a Moroccan prince, died in the Paris suburbs late Monday, relative Virginia Stevenoot told AFP.

Her first film, as the star of Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Manon" in 1949, won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Mostra and landed her a leading role alongside Tyrone Power and Orson Welles in US director Henry Hathaway's 1950 feature "The Black Rose".

But Aubry's film career was short-lived, interrupted by a secret six-year marriage to the eldest son of the pasha of Marrakesh, Si Brahim El Glaoui.

Their son Mehdi plays young Sebastian in the black-and-white TV show she wrote that was broadcast in France from the mid-1960s before being picked up by BBC1 and turned into a Japanese anime version in 1981 titled "Meiken Jolie".

Mehdi also sings the final song in the adventure series.

"Belle and Sebastian", which spawned two sequels in France, also gave its name to the Scottish indie pop band.

Set in the French Alps, the holiday classic recounts the adventures of an orphaned boy of six and a huge white dog that roams the mountains. It has also been turned into a book.

© 2010 AFP

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