He was nominated for a 2004 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Set Designer of 2003 for Absolutely! (Perhaps) performed at Wyndham's Theatre.
For one scene in Romeo and Juliet (1968), Zeffirelli had to get special permission to show Olivia Hussey topless. Even so, Ms. Hussey was not allowed to attend the premier because of her age and the film's rating, even through the only bare breasts in the entire film were her own.
Received a Special 1962 Tony Award "for designs and direction of the Old Vic's 'Romeo and Juliet'." The following year, in 1963, he was nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Scenic Designer for "The Lady of the Camellias."
Wrote the libretto for the Samuel Barber opera "Antony and Cleopatra" commissioned to open the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1966.
Member of the Italian Parliament from 1994 to 2001 for the rightist party Forza Italia, led by Silvio Berlusconi.
Personal Quotes (2)
[About Toto Who Lived Twice (1998)] I must confess, from the bottom of my heart, my sadness and my discomfort to such a film devoid of any form of sentiment and values. In what society do we live? Why do you thus these films? Should be the heart of the matter. This is something that is deeply against humanity, society and the fundamental values of man and I think that in a case like this, total censorship is necessary. And as for me I will not see this movie because I already know what it is and I do not want to sully my eye.
[on William Hurt] The most complicated actor I ever worked with.