Oscar Directors: Babenco, Hector, Nominated Filmmaker (Kiss of the Spider Woman) Dies at 70

Argentine-born Brazilian director Héctor Babenco died on Wednesday at São Paulo’s Sirio-Libanes Hospital in Brazil after suffering a heart attack. He was 70.

Babenco was known for his collaborations with William Hurt, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep, among others.

His most famous film, Kiss of the Spider Woman, was nominated for four Oscar Awards, including Best Picture and Director.  Babenco was the first Latin-American to be nominated for achievements in directing.

Babenco first made impression in 1981 with Pixote (his best film) a powerful tale about the rough life of boys growing up in the slums of Sao Paolo.

Babenco featured LGBT characters in his films in an era that seldom highlighted these issues.

William Hurt, who portrayed a homosexual man imprisoned for having sexual affairs with an underage boy in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” received an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance.

Babenco’s final project “My Hindu Friend,” which stars Willem Dafoe, premiered in March. The film chronicles an ailing film director close to death. Babenco served as director, producer, and writer for the film.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and daughter, Janka.