Guillaume Depardieu dies at 37

Actor developed pneumonia at Paris hospital

CANNES -- French actor Guillaume Depardieu, son of Gerard Depardieu, died Monday. He was 37.

Guillaume Depardieu died of pneumonia contracted days earlier in Paris' Raymond Poincare hospital. He continued the family theatrical tradition with roles in numerous French films including recent Gallic releases "Versailles" and "De la Guerre," the November release "Stella" and 1995's "Les Apprentis," which earned him a Cesar award for Most Promising Newcomer.

"He was very sensitive. That's what gave him that slightly James Dean-style personality. A man tortured by his youth, by the relations he had with his father," director Jean-Pierre Mocky, with whom he filmed in 1997, told RTL radio.

Tall with fine features and long blond hair, Guillaume Depardieu rebelled against his status as heir to one of France's most famous acting dynasties, and suffered in the process.

He served his first prison sentence at the age of 17 and returned to jail when he was 22 for heroin trafficking.

He badly injured his knee in a motorcycle accident in 1995, after which he caught a superbug in hospital and, after a series of unsuccessful operations, had part of one leg amputated.

"When you spend a year in hospital without seeing anything else, you are completely contaminated by physical pain, the mind is completely contaminated by physical pain. You are nothing any more. You don't feel anything any more," he told TF1 television in a 2003 interview.

Guillaume Depardieu is survived by his father; his mother, Elisabeth; sister Julie; half-sister, Roxane; and daughter, Louise.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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