He died in one of the most famous car accidents in the 20th century.
Dodi Fayed and his friend, Diana, Princess of Wales, were in the back seat of a Mercedes-Benz W140 departing a hotel in Paris. Followed by camera-wielding men on motorcycles, the car lost control in the Pond de L’Alma tunnel, and tragically, on this day in 1997, both Dodi and Diana lost their lives.
Dodi Fayed was the eldest son of the Egyptian magnate, Mohamed Al-Fayed, who owned at the time the Harrods Department Store, the Fulham Football Club, and the Hotel Ritz in Paris, where Dodi and Diana stayed just before their demise.
Dodi was the executive producer of Chariots of Fire, the story of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams competing for glory at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. If you don’t recall the movie, you probably would recall the movie’s theme by Vangelis. The film won four Oscars at the 1981 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.
On the re-release of Chariots of Fire during the 2012 London Games, quite a lot was written about the producer of the film, David Puttnam, and his money man, Dodi Fayed. For some reason, Puttnam chose this time of celebration to reveal stories of drug use and women regarding his executive producer. Others took up Dodi’s defense and questioned Puttnam’s motives.
In the end, without Dodi’s GBP 2 million in funding, and Puttnam’s inspiration, Chariots of Fire would not have been made, and go on to be one of the most famous movies about the Olympics there is.