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Franco Zeffirelli Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died in Rome, Italy
Birth NameGian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Franco Zeffirelli was born on February 12, 1923 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy as Gian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli. He is known for his work on Romeo and Juliet (1968), La traviata (1982) and The Taming of the Shrew (1967). He died on June 15, 2019 in Rome, Italy.

Trivia (12)

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.
Has worked not only with former husband and wife Robert Stephens and Maggie Smith, but also with their son, Toby Stephens.
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.
In 2004 he was awarded an honorary knighthood (KBE) by the United Kingdom.
Had a love affair with director Luchino Visconti during the shooting of Visconti's film Senso (1954).
One of eight Italians to have been nominated for the Academy Award for 'Best Director'. The others are Federico Fellini, Pietro Germi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Gillo Pontecorvo , Bernardo Bertolucci, Roberto Benigni and Lina Wertmüller.
In January 2018, actor Johnathon Schaech accused Zeffirelli of sexually assaulting him during the production of Sparrow (1993) in 1992. Schaech, now 48, wrote in People magazine that he was 22 years old when Zeffirelli pestered him during the day, verbally abused him, and tried to enter his room at night, forcing him to lock the door. Then one night in Sicily, Schaech wrote, the director got a key, entered Schaech's room and his bed and assaulted him. Zeffirelli denied the allegation. Bruce Robinson, who acted in Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968), had made similar allegations many years previously.
His mother, Alaide Garosi, a seamstress and clothes designer, and his father, Ottorino Corsi, a fabric merchant, were married to others when he was conceived.
His mother meant to give him the name Zeffiretti, meaning "little breezes," from a Mozart aria, but a clerk misspelled it.

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.

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