Acclaimed Malian actor SOTIGUI KOUYATE has passed away at the age of 74.
The former soccer star died on Saturday (17Apr10) in Paris, France.
The son of director Dani Kouyate, Sotigui started out as a promising soccer player for the Burkina Faso national team.
He soon moved into acting and began his theatre career in 1966, before going on to establish his own stage company.
Kouyate was a longtime collaborator of British film and theatre director Peter Brook, and the pair worked together on the Indian epic The Mahabharata in 1983.
But it wasn't until 2009 that Kouyate gained more international acclaim with his portrayal of a French Muslim waiting for news of his son in the immediate aftermath of the 7/7 bombings on the London transport system in the movie London River.
The role won him the Best Actor title at last year's (09) Berlin Film Festival in Germany and he was also awarded the French government's highest cultural honour at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, when he was made an officer of arts and letters.
The cause of death was unknown as WENN went to press.