Award-winning French director Claude Miller died Wednesday evening at the age of 70, after a months-long battle with cancer. Miller was born in Paris in 1942 and became a fixture of French cinema after beginning his career as an assistant to such legends as Marcel Carné, Robert Bresson, Jacques Demy, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. His first feature, 1976’s La Meilleure Façon De Marcher (The Best Way To Walk), brought him César nominations for best picture and best director. He then went on to helm such seminal films as 1981’s Garde A Vu (Under Suspicion) with Lino Ventura, Michel Serrault and Romy Schneider; 1983’s Mortelle Randonnée with Isabelle Adjani and again with Serrault; 1988’s La Petite Voleuse (The Little Thief), based on a Truffaut screenplay and 1998’s La Classe De Neige (Class Trip), which won the Jury Prize at Cannes. His more recent films have included 2003’s La Petite Lili, 2007’s Un Secret and 2009’s Je Suis Heureux Que Ma Mère Soit Vivante (I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive). At the time of his death, he had just completed Thérèse Desqueyroux with Audrey Tautou, Gilles Lellouche and Anaïs Desmoustier. Over his career he had 5 films in selection in Cannes and this latest picture could make an appearance there as well. Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and his Institut Lumière colleague Bertrand Tavernier were among the first to comment via Twitter on Miller’s passing, saying, “He was a filmmaker, a film-lover and a friend.”