Director of film 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' dies at 70

Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:36pm EDT
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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Hector Babenco, whose 1985 film "Kiss of the Spider Woman" made him the first Latin American to be nominated for a best director Oscar, died of a heart attack late on Wednesday.

"We lament the death of an extraordinary director," tweeted Brazilian President Michel Temer, after news of the death was announced on Thursday by the Sao Paulo hospital where he had been treated.

Born in 1946 and nominated for the Oscar 40 years later, Argentine-Brazilian Babenco also directed other films such as "Pixote" in 1981 and "Carandiru" in 2003.

Set in a Latin American jail cell where an unlikely pair of prisoners are forced by brutal circumstances to understand and eventually respect each other, "Kiss of the Spider Woman" was based on the novel by Argentine Manuel Puig.

(Reporting by Maria Pia Palermo and Maximilian Heath; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Brazilian director Hector Babenco is seen during a photocall for the film "Carandiru" at the 56th International Film Festival in Cannes, May 19, 2003. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler