Edouard Molinaro, director of ‘La Cage Aux Folles,’ dies at 85


French filmmaker Edouard Molinaro, who earned an Academy Award nomination for directing “La Cage aux Folles,” died Saturday at age 85.

According to the BBC, the cause of death was lung failure.

Molinaro’s career spanned six decades and many genres, including comedies, crime dramas, historical adaptations and even documentaries. In the U.S., he remains best known for 1978’s “La Cage aux Folles,” a farce about a gay couple with a St. Tropez drag club who pretend to be heterosexuals to win over their son’s future in-laws.


Based on Jean Poiret’s stage play of the same name, the film earned three Oscar nominations, including one for Molinaro, and won a Golden Globe for best foreign film. It remains one of the top-grossing foreign language movies.

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“The Birdcage,” an English-language remake directed by Mike Nichols and starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, was a box office hit in 1996.

Molinaro’s other films included “A Ravishing Idiot” with Anthony Perkins and Brigitte Bardot, “Male Hunt” starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve and “My Uncle Benjamin,” featuring Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel.

Later in his career, Molinaro worked primarily in television.

In a statement, French President Francois Hollande paid homage to the director:

“Edouard Molinaro possessed the talent for attracting a broad public to quality films. This filmmaker, who had a rich and varied career, directed the greatest actors of French cinema while winning over the public, and winning the admiration of his peers, at the same time.”


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