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German Photographer Gunter Sachs, Ex-Husband of Brigitte Bardot, Dies at 78
A file picture dated 02 March 2008 shows German photographer Gunter Sachs arriving to the opening of the Gunter Sachs retrospektive, entitled Die Kunst ist weiblich (lit. Art Is Female) at the Museum der Bildenden Kuenste in Leipzig, Germany. According to media reports, the 78-year-old German-Swiss entrepreneur and photographer has been found dead in his Swiss chalet in Gstaad on 07 May 2011. EPA/WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH.
GENEVA (AP).- German-born photographer Gunter Sachs, best known for his playboy lifestyle and brief marriage to French actress Brigitte Bardot, has committed suicide. He was 78.

In a statement released Sunday by his family at his request, Sachs said he chose to end his life after concluding that he was suffering from an incurable degenerative disease affecting his memory and ability to communicate.

"I have always stood up to big challenges," the statement said. It provided no details on the timing or circumstances of his death, but German weekly Focus reported that Sachs shot himself Saturday at his home in the exclusive Swiss Alpine resort of Gstaad.

Sachs was born into a wealthy industrialist family in 1932, and used his inheritance and business acumen to fund a glamorous lifestyle that fascinated many in post-war Germany of the 1960s and 70s.

German tabloids reported extensively on his affairs with celebrities and friendships with artists such as Andy Warhol.

Sachs also made a name for himself as a photographer, documentary filmmaker and art collector. Swiss business magazine Bilanz estimated his fortune at 300-400 million Swiss francs ($340-$455 million).

Sachs is survived by Bardot, to whom he was married from 1966-1969, his third wife Mirja Larsson and their sons Christian and Alexander, and son Rolf from his first marriage.

A funeral will take place in the presence of his close family.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



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