The French actor Michel Serrault has died at the age of 79 after a long illness, his family has said. An accomplished and versatile performer, Serrault is best known for his starring role as Zaza Napoli in the 1978 film adaptation of Jean Poiret’s La Cage aux Folles. He won a César, France’s Oscar, for that role and a second for Garde à Vue in 1982. In total Serrault’s career spanned 135 films, numerous theatre appearances and three Césars. A deeply religious man, Serrault entered a seminary as a boy but left to pursue his acting career. A marriage in 1958 produced two daughters, but one of them was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris in 1977 at the age of 19. The other, Natalie, is an actress herself.