Untouchables: death of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, the man who inspired the film with 19 million admissions

The French entrepreneur Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, who became a quadriplegic following a paragliding accident, and to whom François Cluzet had lent his features in the film “Intouchables”, died at the age of 72.

French businessman and writer Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, whose extraordinary destiny was immortalized in the 2011 film Intouchables, directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, has died at the age of 72.

Having become a quadriplegic in 1993 following a paragliding accident, he recounted his new life and his friendship with his life assistant Abdel Yasmin Sellou in his book The Second Wind, published in 2001 and adapted to the cinema ten years later. In the film by Toledano and Nakache, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was played by François Cluzet, while Omar Sy (Caesarized for his performance) lent his features to his home help.

A real box office triumph, Intouchables had gathered more than 19 million spectators in theaters, thus becoming the second biggest success of French cinema (just behind the 20 million of Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis). Philippe Pozzo di Borgo appeared in the last seconds of the film.

Gaumont Distribution

This Friday, the two directors paid tribute to him on their Twitter account.

“We have just learned with immense sadness the disappearance of our friend Philippe Pozzo di Borgo”they wrote. “By accepting that we adapt his story in Intouchables, he changed our lives and the lives of many vulnerable and fragile people.”

The French entrepreneur was also the sponsor of the association Relieve but not killactivist against euthanasia, UP for Humannessdedicated to the professional integration of people with disabilities, and honorary president of the Institute for Research on the Spinal Cord and the Brain.

(Re)discover our interview with Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, conducted in 2011 as part of the release of “Intouchables”…

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