Ambra Danon, Oscar-Nominated ‘La Cage aux Folles’ Costume Designer, Dies at 75

Ambra Danon, the Italian costume designer who worked on the three La Cage aux Folles films, earning an Oscar nomination for the first one, has died. She was 75.

Danon died April 12 in Rome after a long battle with cancer, her niece, Echo Danon, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The original La Cage Aux Folles (1978), based on Jean Poiret’s 1973 play of the same name, was directed by Édouard Molinaro and released by United Artists. The French-language comedy starred Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault as a gay couple operating a drag nightclub in a French resort town and was a huge box office success.

Danon, who shared her Academy Award nom with five-time nominee Piero Tosi, lost out on Oscar night to Albert Wolsky of All That Jazz. She then returned for the La Cage aux Folles sequels released in 1980 and 1985.

The daughter of Marcello Danon, who produced the first two movies in the series, also worked on theater and opera productions and on such other films as Il caso Raoul (1975) and Quando eravamo repressi (1992).

(La Cage Aux Folles, of course, also became a big Broadway hit written by Harvey Fierstein and an American film, The Birdcage, that starred Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, was directed by Mike Nichols and written by Elaine May.)

Echo Danon is a daughter of late actress Pamela Tiffin (State Fair, The Pleasure Seekers, Come Fly With Me, Harper). Ambra Danon’s other survivors include her brothers, Edmondo and Lorenzo, and another niece, Aurora.

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