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Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, who won worldwide acclaim but was never very popular in his own country, died in hospital, three weeks after being awarded an Oscar for lifetime achievement. The lanky, 70-year-old Ray had been treated for a heart ailment in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Kolkata, where he lived and worked all his life, for almost three months. Members of his family said he went into a deep coma after his condition suddenly deteriorated. He was awarded an Oscar for lifetime achievement at his hospital bed by Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In a videotape of the presentation shown at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Ray said: “It is a magnificent award, certainly the best achievement of my movie-making career, spanning over four decades.” It was the second time Ray had received a major award in hospital. French President Francois Mitterrand personally made him a member of the Legion of Honour when Ray was recovering from heart surgery in 1989.

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