Austrian mountaineer HEINRICH HARRER - whose life inspired the Hollywood film SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET - died yesterday (07JAN06). He was 93.

Harrer was the first person to climb the northern face of Mount Eiger in Switzerland in 1938.

His 1953 memoirs were adapted into the 1997 movie, which starred Pitt as the revered climber. The book told of Harrer's time in the Himalayas and his friendship with Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama during World War II.

The cause of his death has not been revealed, but he will be buried on Saturday (14JAN06) in Huettenberg, Austria.