Canal+ founder André Rousselet (pictured) has died at age 93, his family confirmed to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
A close friend of late French president Francois Mitterrand, Rousselet died peacefully on Sunday (May 29) at his home in Paris.
French president Francois Hollande was among those who paid tribute to the entrepreneur, who started the pay-TV network in 1984. “Andre Rousselet turned his life into a great adventure,” Hollande tweeted.
The premium network launched as an alternative to state-owned television and aired a mix of movies, entertainment programming and original and acquired TV series. It is also a major financier of French films.
Rousselet stepped down as chairman in 1994 after advertising giant Havas, water utilities firm Compagnie Générale des Eaux and the Société Générale bank took control of the channel.
The company is now owned by telecom giant Vivendi.
“André Rousselet taught us freedom, responsibility, and how to stand tall, always,” tweeted Cannes Film Festival president Pierre Lescure, who was also a founding member of Canal+.
(Photo courtesy of AFP)