‘Babette’s Feast’ Director Gabriel Axel Dies at 95

Orion/courtesy Everett Collection

The 1986 drama was the first movie from Denmark to win the Academy Award for foreign-language film.

Gabriel Axel, the writer and director of Babette’s Feast, the first Danish picture to win the Oscar for best foreign-language film, died Sunday in Copenhagen. He was 95.

Babette’s Feast (1987), based on the novel of the same name by Danish author Karen Blixen, revolves around two sisters and their housekeeper. The film also won a BAFTA award and was honored at Cannes.

Axel divided his time between France and Denmark, where he directed television series and movies. He also acted in several films.

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Dutch films have been nominated 10 times for the foreign-language Oscar, including this year for Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, starring Mads Mikkelsen. Pelle the Conqueror won in 1989, and In a Better World prevailed in 2011.

Axel’s wife of nearly 50 years, Lucie Axel Moerch, died in 1996. He is survived by their four children and eight grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.