‘Babette’s Feast’ Director Gabriel Axel Dead At 95

Babettes Feast

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Gabriel Axel, the first Dane to win an Oscar for best foreign film with “Babette’s Feast,” which he directed, died Sunday. He was 95.

His daughter Karin Moerch announced Axel’s passing in a statement that reveal where he died or give the cause of death.

His international breakthrough came in 1987 with “Babette’s Feast,” based on a novel by Danish writer Karen Blixen. The movie concerns a 19th century Parisian woman, played by French actress Stephan Audran, who finds shelter in a remote, puritanical Danish village, living with two sisters who maintain a strict religious philosophy.

Axel’s works include “Prince of Jutland,” a 1994 film that tells the story of Amled, the Danish prince whose life inspired Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

Born in Denmark’s second city, Aarhus, Axel divided his time between his homeland and France. He grew up in Paris where his father owned a factory and at age 18 he returned to Denmark to work as a carpenter making furniture. But the theater drew him, and he enrolled in the Danish Royal Theater Actors’ School, graduating in 1945.

Gabriel Axel Moerch dropped his last name when he joined the theater troupe of French film and stage artist Louis Jouvet in Paris. Axel directed several large projects for French television, then returned to Denmark to produce series for Denmark’s public broadcaster and direct several films in the 1950s and 1960s. He also acted in films.

In 2003, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Copenhagen International Film Festival.

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

 

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Karin R says:

    A sad loss of a Huge Cinematographer. Few may know that he inaugurated the Uruguayan Film School, ECU, during a visit there in 1995!

More Film News from Variety

Loading