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Times Topic: Brigitte Bardot His family said Mr. Sachs, who had an incurable degenerative disease, committed suicide. In a suicide note the family released, Mr. Sachs said, The loss of mental control over my life was an undignified condition which I decided to counter decisively. Once referred to as the German Lothario by Time magazine, Mr. Sachs became a well-known figure in the art world. His collection included works by Magritte, Kandinsky, Francis Bacon and Max Ernst as well as Andy Warhol , Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann. Warhol, a close friend of Mr. Sachs s, produced portraits of him and of Ms. Bardot. In May 2006, Mr. Sachs sold Warhol s silk screen of Ms. Bardot at auction for $3 million. From 1965 to 1972, Mr. Sachs was president of the Modern Art Museum in Munich. He was also a photographer whose works were exhibited in Europe. In his wilder days, Parisian dailies called him Saxy. And when he married Ms. Bardot (his second wife) in July 1966 a few weeks after they met, Newsweek , labeled it a Franco-German alliance and wrote of Mr. Sachs s reputation as a big lady killer. Undaunted, Ms. Bardot said at the time: I have never known a man like him. I feel mad, serene, wonderstruck. I have arrived at the end of a long journey. Not quite. When the marriage ended three years later, The New York Times referred to Mr. Sachs as someone who has been linked romantically at some time or other with half the great beauties in Europe. Within months Mr. Sachs was married again, to Mirja Larsson, a Swedish model. That marriage lasted until his death. Besides his wife, Mr. Sachs is survived by their sons, Christian and Alexander, and his son, Rolf, from his first marriage, to Anne-Marie Faure, who died in a car accident in 1958. Fritz Gunter Sachs was born on Nov. 14, 1932, in Schweinfurt, Germany . He was a great-grandson of Adam Opel , the founder of what would become the Opel automobile company. His family owned Fichtel & Sachs, a manufacturer of car and motorcycle parts, founded by his grandfather Ernst Sachs. The Swiss business magazine Bilanz estimated Gunter Sachs s fortune at $340 million to $455 million. When Mr. Sachs and Ms. Larsson married in 1969, she told Time magazine: I m not afraid of his past. It doesn t touch me. In him I ve found the husband I always dreamed of. A version of this article appeared in print on May 10, 2011, on page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: Gunter Sachs, 78, Ex-Husband of Bardot.
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Gunter Sachs, Art Collector and Bardot Ex-Husband, Dies at 78