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Alan Parker, Director of Fame and Evita, Dies at 76 

Alan Parker, Director of Fame and Evita, Dies at 76 

Alan Parker

The English filmmaker brought positive queer depictions to cinema -- and he helped establish Madonna as a bona fide actress.

Alan Parker has died.

The director of Midnight Express, Evita, and Fame passed Friday at age 76, reports the Los Angeles Times. He had been suffering from a long illness. Parker is survived by his wife, Lisa Moran, and five children; he was previously married to Annie Inglis, a union that ended in divorce.

The English writer and director, who began his career penning commercials, was acclaimed in cinema. In total, his productions garnered six Oscars, 10 Golden Globes, and 19 BAFTAs.

In addition to being critical successes, Parker's productions were notable in introducing some of the earliest positive depictions of queer people to mainstream audiences. Fame, a 1980 musical film that followed students at a performing arts high school, featured Montgomery (Paul Crane), a gay teen struggling with his sexuality.

Moreover, Midnight Express, a drama about an American student in a Turkish prison, had a famous same-sex kiss scene with its lead character Billy Hayes, who was portrayed by bisexual actor Brad Davis. Evita, the 1996 film version of the stage musical about Eva Peron, starred Madonna as the wife of the Argentine president. The gay icon went on to perform a song from the film, "You Must Love Me," at the Oscars, where it won an award for Best Original Song.

Parker's other prominent productions include Bugsy Malone, The Commitments,Mississippi Burning, and The Life of David Gale.

After news of his passing, friends and collaborators, including producer and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, took to social media to remember the filmmaker.

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