Edouard Molinaro, 85, 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.

French President Francois Hollande's office confirmed the death in a statement of condolence Saturday, praising Mr. Molinaro as "great, appealing, and original" and as a director who "conquered the public and the admiration of his peers at the same time." The statement provided no further details.

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