PARIS (CBS/AP) - Isabelle Caro's photos shocked the world.
In 2007, skeletal images of the French model and actress were plastered on Italian billboards in an effort to raise public awareness for anorexia, a disease which tortured Caro since she was 13, according to her biography.
She said she was only 59 pounds when the pictures were shot.
Now, at just 28, Caro has died. The cause of death was not released at press time, but her longtime acting instructor Daniele Dubreuil-Prevot said Caro "had been sick for a long time," referring to her anorexia.
"Caro's death is tragic," says New York-based eating disorder specialist Marisa Sherry. "It shows us the severity of eating disorders. It's not just about being skinny or being able to walk down the runway in size zero clothes. Anorexia can take your life."
Caro's images horrified most, but anorexia experts were concerned the images would actually encourage some with the disease.
"Some will say I wish I could look like that," says Sherry. "And some would say I want to recover so I don't become that."
As many as 10 million Americans are now struggling with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.