Edouard Molinaro Dead: Famed Director Dies At 85

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French director Edouard Molinaro poses upon arrival for the screening of  'Hellboy II : The Golden Army', starring US actor Ron Perlman, US actress Selma Blair,  US actor Doug Jones, US actor Jeffrey Tambor, and presented out of competition, on September 6, 2008, at the 34th US Film Festival, in Deauville, on the French northwestern coast.. Eleven movies are presented this year in competition during the Festival held from 5 to 14 September.  AFP PHOTO MYCHELE DANIAU (Photo credit should read MYC
French director Edouard Molinaro poses upon arrival for the screening of 'Hellboy II : The Golden Army', starring US actor Ron Perlman, US actress Selma Blair, US actor Doug Jones, US actor Jeffrey Tambor, and presented out of competition, on September 6, 2008, at the 34th US Film Festival, in Deauville, on the French northwestern coast.. Eleven movies are presented this year in competition during the Festival held from 5 to 14 September. AFP PHOTO MYCHELE DANIAU (Photo credit should read MYC

PARIS (AP) — Edouard Molinaro, nominated for an Oscar for directing "La Cage aux Folles," a French farce about a gay couple that struck a chord with a broad range of audiences, has died at 85.

French President Francois Hollande's office confirmed the death in a statement of condolence Saturday, praising Molinaro as "great, appealing and original" and a director who "conquered the public and the admiration of his peers at the same time." The statement didn't provide further details.

Molinaro's career spanned six decades, including crime films and historical adaptations. He was best known for 1978's "La Cage aux Folles," which was nominated for several Oscars. The movie, about two men with a transvestite club in St. Tropez who try to temporarily pretend they're straight, was remade as "The Birdcage" in 1996.

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