The British Film Institute confirmed Parker’s death on Friday, noting he died after a long illness.
Parker was twice Oscar-nominated for best director, for 1978’s “Midnight Express” and for 1988’s Mississippi Burning.” While the director’s subject matter was eclectic, he did return frequently to the musical form: His films “Bugsy Malone,” “Fame,” “Pink Floyd the Wall,” “The Commitments” and “Evita” were all musicals or had strong musical elements in one form or another.
Parker’s first feature film, 1976’s “Bugsy Malone,” made a considerable splash for an audacious concept that worked only because everyone kept a straight face. The film was a Depression-era gangster musical cast entirely with children, the oldest perhaps 15. These included Jodie Foster and Scott Baio.