Argentine film director Hector Babenco dies

 Argentinian director Hector Babenco in 2007.
Argentinian director Hector Babenco in 2007.PHOTO: AFP

SAO PAULO (AFP) - Argentine film director Hector Babenco, who won international acclaim with movies such as Kiss Of The Spider Woman, has died at age 70, a hospital official said on Thursday (July 14).

Babenco, who had lived in Brazil since the 1960s and also had citizenship there, was admitted to a Sao Paulo hospital for surgery on Tuesday.

He appeared to be recovering well, but died late on Wednesday after going into cardiac arrest, Brazilian media reports said, citing sources at his production company.

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed his death to AFP.

Babenco was nominated for an Academy Award for best director in 1986 for Kiss Of The Spider Woman, which also earned a nomination for best picture and won a best actor statuette for William Hurt.

The film explores the horrors of Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship through the stories of two prisoners jailed by the regime.

His films also included Pixote (1981), about a young Brazilian boy caught up in a hellish underworld of crime and police corruption, and Carandiru (2003), about a bloody crackdown on a 1992 prison riot in Brazil that left 111 inmates dead.

His last movie, released this year, was My Hindu Friend, starring Willem Dafoe, a semi-autobiographical chronicle of Babenco's battle with lymphoma.