Arts & Entertainment

Pioneering Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller dead at 93

Rome, Dec 9 (EFE).- Lina Wertmüller, the first woman to garner an Oscar nomination for best director, died Thursday in Rome, the Italian media reported. She was 93.

“Italy mourns the passing of Lina Wertmüller, a director who, with her class and unmistakable style, left an everlasting mark on our and the world’s cinema,” Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said in one of the numerous tributes that followed the news of her death.

Born in Rome to a family of Swiss aristocrats, Wertmüller started her career in entertainment as part of a touring puppet show and went on to work in theater as an actress, director and playwright before being introduced in 1963 to Federico Fellini, who hired her as an assistant director on “8 1/2.”

Wertmüller’s first feature, “The Basilisks,” came out the same year and in 1972, she made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival with “The Seduction of Mimi.”

Three years later, her “Swept Away” won critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, setting the stage for 1977’s “Seven Beauties,” which brought Oscar nominations for best director, best screenplay, best foreign film and a best actor nod for star Giancarlo Giannini.

While Wertmüller missed out on that occasion, she received an honorary Oscar for career achievement in 2019, presented by another icon of Italian cinema, Sophia Loren.

She married frequent collaborator Enrico Job, a production designer and costume designer, and they remained together until his death in 2008.

Wertmüller is survived by the daughter she adopted with Job, Maria Zulima Job. EFE gsm/dr

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