LONDON (AP) — Philip French, the long-time film critic for the Guardian's Sunday edition, the Observer, has died at 82.

The Guardian says on its website that French suffered a heart attack on Tuesday following years of ill health. It quotes Observer editor John Mulholland as saying French was a "giant figure" in the paper's history and "part of its soul for the past 50 years."

French was born in Liverpool in August 1933. His early career was spent as a producer for the BBC, and he worked as a reporter and a theater critic before joining the Observer full-time in 1978.

French was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 2013 for his services to film.