Michel Lecourt, head of French WB TV, dies

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PARIS -- VP and General Manager of Warner Bros. International Television's French-speaking territories Michel Lecourt died Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 58.

After studying cinema at the French Independent Conservatory in Paris, Lecourt worked as the assistant to Paris-based Warner Bros. sales agent Richard Wilkes, selling the television rights to the Studio's feature films, television series and animated product to French broadcasters. The company soon hired him to set up Warner Bros.' television business in France.

During his nearly four decades with Warner Bros., Lecourt was an instrumental part in managing the company's rapidly changing television business. He created and developed the locally hosted classic animation block known as the "Warner Hour" and took home a French Emmy Award in 1991 for the Warner Hour's "Decode Pas Bunny" (Canal+) and a second French Emmy in 2004 for the cult favorite "Ca Cartoon" (Canal+).

"Michel was a unique individual: a French citizen with a love of the American Old West and cowboy lifestyle; a European who always drove a big American car through the streets of Paris; and a true fan and expert on American cinema and animation with a special passion for the Looney Tunes. He was a valued member of our team and will be terribly missed on both a personal and a professional level," Jeffrey Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros. International Television, said.

Lecourt is survived by his wife, Natalie, and two teenage daughters, Nina and Anouk.
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