The quadriplegic businessman had befriended his life assistant, before inspiring the film Intouchables, released in 2011. Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, who became a writer, died on Thursday June 1 in Marrakech, at the age of 72, announced directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache. The information was confirmed by the older brother of Mr. Pozzo di Borgo at Le Parisien.
“By accepting that we adapt his story in Intouchables, he changed our lives and the lives of many vulnerable and fragile people, wrote the directors on Facebook. We keep the image of a courageous, dignified, humble and combative man. His humor and intelligence will be missed. To have known him for all these years was a rare privilege. Actor Omar Sy, who played the role of the carer in the film alongside François Cluzet, also paid tribute to him on Instagram: "Forever in our hearts..."
Born on February 14, 1951, Count Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, descendant of a large Corsican family, is a former manager of the Champagne Pommery house. He became a quadriplegic in 1993 after a paragliding accident and a few years later, after the death of his wife, hired a life assistant, Abdel Yasmin Sellou, with whom he created a friendship, which he recounts in the book Le Second Souffle (Bayard). Before Intouchables, their story had been told in a documentary by Jean-Pierre Devillers and Isabelle Cottenceau, produced by Mireille Dumas.
Released in 2011, the film Intouchables was then the biggest success of French cinema with more than 19 million admissions, surpassing La Grande Vadrouille by Gérard Oury – the record was then beaten by Welcome to the Ch'tis by Dany Boon . Philippe Pozzo di Borgo appeared in the last seconds of the film.