Danish filmmaker and screenwriter Gabriel Axel is best known for directing the distinguished comedy drama Babette's Feast (1987) which won an Oscar and a British Academy Award for Best Foreign film. Though born in Denmark, Axel spent a good share of his youth in France. Later he studied drama at the Danish National Conservatory and launched his acting career in Paris and Copenhagen theaters. He began directing films during the late 1950s and over the next 30 years, he became one of Denmark's most consistently competent filmmakers. Axel slowed down in the 1980s and beyond, directing his last film, Leila, in 2001. He died in 2014 at age 95.