Alain Poire, one of France's leading producers, died this weekend at his home near Paris. Aged 82, he died of cancer.

His death was marked by plaudits from every level. And no less a figure than President Jacques Chirac declared: "France is losing one of the pillars of its cinema and a man of great heart and faith."

Father of Les Visiteurs director Jean-Marie Poire, Alain Poire was long associated with the biggest names of post-war cinema and produced a total of 250 films, including those by Gerard Oury, Georges Lautner, Francis Veber and Yves Robert. His credits included classics and box office triumphs such as Fantomas, Un Taxi Pour Tobrouk, Les Tontons Flingueurs and La Boum.

A board director at Gaumont International, Poire was active until very recently. He had just completed Philippe Muyl's picture La Vache Et Le President and was scheduled to produce Francis Veber's next film.