PARIS (AP) - Henri Verneuil, a prolific French filmmaker of Armenian origin who directed some of France's greatest movie stars, died Friday, according to the French Fine Arts Academy. He was 81.
Among Verneuil's most memorable films is "La Vache et le Prisonnier" (The Cow and I), a charming film about a man's adventures with a stubborn cow, made in 1959.
Verneuil directed such giants of the French cinema as Jean Gabin and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Both appeared in Verneuil's 1962 film, "Un Singe en Hiver" (A Monkey in Winter).
Verneuil was born in Turkey in 1920 under the name Ashot Malakian. In 1991, he directed Mayrig, a film starring Omar Sharif and Claudia Cardinale that deals with the Armenian genocide.
In 1996, Verneuil was awarded a honorary Cesar, France's equivalent of the Oscar, for lifetime achievement in film.