Michel Serrault, French Star La Cage aux Folles, Dies at 79

July 30, 2007–Michel Serrault, star of the 1978 comedy “La Cage aux Folles” and one of the most popular actors in France, has died. He was 79. He had been suffering from a long illness.

Serrault's performance as Albin made “La Cage aux Folles” one of the most popular French films ever and earned him a Cesar, the French equivalent of an Oscar, in 1979. French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to Serrault, saying his talents had left a mark on all French people.

In more than 100 other films, Serrault played a series of more serious roles. His performances as a notary accused of raping and murdering a little girl in “Garde a vue” or as a retired businessman who hires a young Emmanuelle Beart to type his memoirs in “Nelly and Mr Arnaud” both earned him Cesar awards.

Serrault's death follows those of vet actors Philippe Noiret last year and Jean-Pierre Cassel and Jean-Claude Brialy earlier this year.