8 December 2013, 02:04

French film director Edouard Molinaro dies at 85

French film director Edouard Molinaro has died in Paris at the age of 85. President Francois Hollande paid tribute to Molinaro's popular appeal.

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

After starting out in crime films, Molinaro switched to comedies, notably starring the actor Louis de Funes.

La Cage (1978), about a gay couple's hilariously ill-starred attempt to pass themselves off as straight, was remade in the US as The Birdcage (1996).

Among Molinaro's numerous other films were Oscar (1967) with de Funes and My Uncle Benjamin (1969), which starred the Belgian singer and songwriter Jacques Brel.

Edouard Molinaro died in hospital of lung failure.

Voice of Russia, BBC

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