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Marie Trintignant, 41; French Film and Stage Actress

August 02, 2003|From Associated Press

French actress Marie Trintignant, who had allegedly been beaten into a coma this week by her rock star boyfriend while they were in Lithuania, died Friday from swelling of the brain, a doctor said. She was 41.

Trintignant, who had been flown Thursday from Lithuania to France and had been kept alive on a ventilator, died at the Hartmann Clinic in suburban Neuilly, according to neurosurgeon Stephane Delajoux.

Trintignant was hospitalized Sunday in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, after her boyfriend, 39-year-old Bertrand Cantat, allegedly beat her at the hotel where they were staying with her mother and one of her sons.

The lead singer of France's most popular rock band -- Noir Desir (Black Desire), Cantat denies having beaten the actress but has been detained in Lithuania on "suspicion of causing bodily injury." No formal charges have been filed.

Cantat was transferred Friday from his cell to the prison's hospital wing, because of concern for his mental health, authorities said. It was unclear whether he had been informed of Trintignant's death.

The actress and her mother, director Nadine Trintignant, were finishing two months of filming on a television movie, "Colette," based on the life of French writer Sinonie-Gabrielle Colette.

Marie Trintignant, who had four children, was in a coma when she arrived at the hospital in Vilnius and twice underwent emergency surgery to ease pressure on her brain caused by cerebral hemorrhaging.

Cantat was admitted to the same hospital Sunday after drinking large amounts of alcohol, authorities said. He was released two days later and immediately taken into police custody.

The actress was a member of one of French cinema's best-known families and had enjoyed a successful movie and stage career, appearing in 30 films, most of them French.

Born Jan. 21, 1962, in Boulogne-Billancourt, just outside Paris, she started her film career at age 5 when she appeared in "Mon Amour, Mon Amour," which was directed by her mother and starred her father, Jean-Louis Trintignant.

She worked under French director Claude Chabrol in 1988's "Une Affaire de Femme" and in 1991's "Betty," an adaptation of a book by detective writer Georges Simenon.

The actress is survived by her parents and her four children: Roman, 17, the son of drummer Richard Kolinka; Paul, 15, the son of actor Francois Cluzet; and Leon, 7, and Jules, 5, the sons of film director Samuel Benchetrit, from whom she separated earlier this year.

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