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Film star Blanc is dead at 89

Screen and stage actress Anne-Marie Blanc – a "grande dame" of the Swiss acting world – has died at the age of 89.

Blanc's first film role was in 1939's Wachtmeister Studer (Constable Studer), but her breakthrough came with the title role in director Franz Schnyder's 1941 film Gilberte de Courgenay, a propaganda film extolling the Swiss virtues of freedom and independence.

She went on to star in 31 pictures, including four with Swiss-Austrian director Leopold Lindtberg. Her last film was In Namen der Gerechtigkeit (In the Name of Justice) in 2001.

Blanc made her final stage appearance in Marguerite Duras's Savannah Bay, in Zurich, at the age of 85. She died in her home in Zurich on Thursday, her family said.

"We have lost a very impressive personality," said Zurich's mayor Elmar Ledergerber.

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