Sotigui Kouyate later moved to Burkina Faso
Malian screen star Sotigui Kouyate, who was named best actor at the Berlin Film Festival last year, has died in Paris at the age of 74.
Kouyate won the award for playing a French Muslim waiting for news of his son in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in the film London River.
A former professional footballer, the actor began his career on stage as a favour to a friend.
He also had a long association with UK theatre director Peter Brook.
The pair collaborated on a 1983 screen production of Indian epic tale the Mahabharata.
Kouyate wrote and staged a number of plays himself, and was the founder of the Mandeko Theatre in the Malian capital Bamako.
Kouyate, whose parents came from a long line of griots - or traditional storytellers - was also made an officer of arts and letters by the French government at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009.