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French spy author Gerard de Villiers dies at 83

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Nov 01, 2013 | 12:04pm EDT

Popular French author Gerard De Villiers has died at the age of 83. The prolific spy novelist passed away in Paris on Thursday (31Oct13), almost six months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His wife Christine tells the AFP, "The last weeks he was conscious but very weak. He could not endure the chemotherapy. It is exactly the death that he did not want." De Villiers began his career as a journalist before turning his attention to the literary world in 1965, when he launched the first novel in his hugely popular SAS series, which details the adventures of Malko Linge, an Austrian prince and CIA agent - a character often referred to as France's version of James Bond. He went on to pen 200 books in the franchise, selling more than 120 million copies worldwide. The last installment, SAS: The Kremlin's Revenge, was released last month (Oct13).

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