Gabriel Axel

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Gabriel Axel
Born (1918-04-18)18 April 1918
Århus, Denmark
Died 9 February 2014(2014-02-09) (aged 95)
Bagsværd (near Copenhagen), Denmark
Occupation Film director, actor, writer, producer
Years active 1951–2001

Gabriel Axel (18 April 1918 – 9 February 2014)[1] was a Danish film director, actor, writer and producer, best known for Babette's Feast (1987), which he wrote and directed.[2][3]

Born in Århus, Denmark, on April 18, 1918, Axel spent most of his childhood in France, and returned to Denmark to train as an actor at the Royal Danish Theatre. After spending some years in Paris, working with the Louis Jouvet theatre ensemble, Axel concentrated his efforts on directing for the theatre, television and cinema in Denmark.

With some 16 feature films to his credits Axel returned to France where he directed several large projects for television, which brought him a number of distinguished honours.

In 1988, Gabriel Axel won an Academy Award for his Danish feature film Babette's Feast, an adaptation of the Isak Dinesen novel. Considered his masterpiece, it took Axel 14 years to complete the project.[4]

His other films include the popular comedy Familien Gyldenkål (1975) and its sequel; a series of sexually oriented features including the campaigning Det kære legetøj (1968) which advocated the legalisation of pornography in Denmark; as well as a series of Shakespearean Viking dramas, including Den røde kappe (1967), which received the Grand Prix de la Technique at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival.[5]

In 2003 Gabriel Axel received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Copenhagen International Film Festival. In 2012 he received the Rungstedlund Award.

Axel died in his sleep on 9 February 2014 at the age of 95.[6][7]



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