Italian Director Franco Zeffirelli Dies at 96




- Italian Director Franco Zeffirelli Died at 96. He was born on 12 February 1923 on the outskirts of Florence.
- His first film as a director was "The Taming of the Shrew" with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
- He was nominated for an Oscar for 1968's "Romeo and Juliet"
- Was mostly known as director of opera and theater productions. Zeffirelli’s production of Falstaff had endured at the Metropolitan Opera for almost four decades
- Started as an assistant to director Luchino Visconti, with whom he had a relationship of several years
- They broke up after Visconti tried to undermine Zeffirelli's attempts to strike out on his own, going as far as booing from the audience at the first play that Zeffirelli had directed
- He was known for his controversial anti-abortion, pro-right and pro-Church stances. He was friends with Silvio Berlusconi and was a senator in his legislatures for 7 years

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