French Director Edouard Molinaro Dies at 85

Edouard Molinaro in September 2013

His 1978 film "La Cage aux Folles" was remade into 1996's "The Birdcage."

French director Edouard Molinaro has died. He was 85.

The filmmaker moved from crime flicks to comedies, and among his most notable films was 1978's La Cage aux Folles, about a gay couple trying to pass themselves off as straight.The film earned him a best director Oscar nomination and was remade in the U.S. as The Birdcage. The 1996 film starred Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

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French president Francois Hollande praised Molinaro's work, according to a BBC report.

"Edouard Molinaro possessed the talent for attracting a broad public to quality films," a statement from the president said. "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."

Molinaro's other works included 1967's Oscar, which starred longtime collaborator Louis de Funes, and 1969's My Uncle Benjamin.

Molinaro died in the hospital of lung failure.