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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
French actress Trintignant dies
Marie Trintignant
Marie Trintignant had been filming in Lithuania
French President Jacques Chirac has paid tribute to actress Marie Trintignant, who has died after spending days in a coma.

Mr Chirac said Ms Trintignant had "served her art with beauty, sensitivity and intelligence".

Her death was announced on Friday by a neurosurgeon at the Hartmann clinic in Neuilly, France, who said she had suffered a cerebral edema.

Her boyfriend Bertrand Cantat, lead singer with rock band Noir Desir, is being detained by police in Lithuania on suspicion of beating her following a row.

The 41-year-old, who was the daughter of French film veteran Jean-Louis Trintignant, starred in more than 30 French-language films.

'Touching hearts'

Ms Trintignant, who has four children, had been filming in Lithuania with her mother, director Nadine Trintignant.

Neurosurgeon Stephane Delajoux said: "Miss Marie Trintignant died this morning at 1020 (0820 GMT) following a cerebral oedema, despite the efforts made to revive her since she arrived at the Hartmann Clinic."

Bertrand Cantat
Bertrand Cantat is being held for questioning
Following the announcement, Mr Chirac said: "She served her art with beauty, sensitivity and intelligence, touching the hearts of the public through cinema and television alike.

"We are all dreadfully aware of the injustice of a destiny so brutally shattered."

Ms Trintignant was taken to a hospital in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Sunday but was already in a coma.


Despite two operations on her brain, doctors gave her family very little hope that she would survive.

Her parents took the decision to have her flown back to France on Thursday, against medical advice, because they wanted their daughter to die in her native country.

Mr Cantat, 39, appeared in court on Thursday where a judge extended his detention until 14 August.

He denied beating the actress and said it had been an accident.

Ms Trintignant had been completing two months of filming a television movie Colette, based on the life of French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.

Coma actress arrives in France
31 Jul 03  |  Europe

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