Isabelle Caro, 28, a French actress and model whose emaciated image appeared in a shock Italian ad campaign and whose anorexia and career were followed by others suffering from eating disorders, has died.

Her longtime acting instructor, Daniele Dubreuil-Prevot, said Wednesday that Ms. Caro died Nov. 17 after returning to France from a job in Tokyo.

Dubreuil-Prevot said that she did not know the cause of death but that Ms. Caro "had been sick for a long time," referring to her anorexia.

Ms. Caro was featured in an ad campaign by Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani in 2007 for an Italian fashion house. Under the headline "No Anorexia," images across newspapers and billboards showed Ms. Caro naked, vertebrae and facial bones protruding.

In later interviews, she said she weighed about 59 pounds when the photos were taken.

Ms. Caro said on her blog and in interviews that she had suffered from anorexia since she was 13. She wrote a book published in France in 2008, The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Get Fat.

Some groups working with anorexics warned, however, that it did a disservice to those afflicted with the disorder.

Images of Ms. Caro appeared on so-called pro-ana, or pro-anorexia, websites. On Wednesday, one posted a notice about her death and a photo of her, large blue-green eyes peering over a child-size upper arm, with the caption, "Die young, stay pretty."

Ms. Caro herself spoke out about her anorexia and her efforts to recover, and the menace of eating disorders on the fashion industry.

Her acting instructor described years in and out of hospitals. Her death and her illness "are an absolute waste," Dubreuil-Prevot said.

The Italian ad campaign gained Ms. Caro widespread attention in media around Europe and in the United States. She subsequently served as a member of the jury on Top Model France and worked periodically as a film and television actress. - AP