French director Francis Girod died from a heart attack this weekend (18-19NOV06) while staying in a Bordeaux hotel. He was 61. Girod made his feature film debut in 1974 with LE TRIO INFERNAL and went on to direct Catherine Deneuve in 1984's LE BON PLASIR, as well as garnering critical acclaim for TRANSFIXED in 2004. French President JACQUES CHIRAC has paid tribute to Girod, saying his death "grieves French cinema, of which he was one of the great figures, as well as a tireless advocate". Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin added, "(He was) loved by the public, recognised and held in esteem by his profession that he championed with conviction, intelligence and generosity."