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Franco Zeffirelli, Oscar-Nominated Director for 'Romeo and Juliet,' Dies at 96

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Franco Zeffirelli, Oscar-Nominated Director for 'Romeo and Juliet,' Dies at 96

Postby MrFredPFL » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:03 am

Story :

The Italian legend, who was nominated for an Academy Award for directing his innovative version of Romeo and Juliet (1968), died Saturday at his residence in Rome "without suffering," his son Pippo told The Hollywood Reporter.

Romeo and Juliet, which starred then-unknown teenagers Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, also received a best picture nomination and garnered Academy Awards for cinematography and costume design, indicative of Zeffirelli's visual emphasis (he also penned the screenplay).

The film introduced a new generation to Shakespearean tragedy, created notoriety at the time for showing Hussey topless and was a big hit for Paramount when the studio was in dire need of one.

A year earlier, Zeffirelli wrote and directed an adaptation of another Shakespeare classic, The Taming of the Shrew, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at the peak of their careers. And in 1990, he helmed a well-received Hamlet, toplined by Mel Gibson, then known as an action hero, and Glenn Close.

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