Franco Zeffirelli, Legendary Director of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ Dies at 96

Franco Zeffirelli, Legendary Director of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ Dies at 96
Legendary Italian filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli has passed away at the age of 96. His son Luciano told The Sun his father died at home at noon on Saturday. He said, “He had suffered for a while, but he left in a peaceful way.”

The excess-loving Zeffirelli was best known in the states for his work on such lush Shakespearean adaptations as his debut feature, the 1967 take on “The Taming of the Shrew,” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which he followed with his popular 1968 version of “Romeo and Juliet,” which starred Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey and was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture.

After the success of his first two films, Zeffirelli moved into more religious work, including the St. Francis of Assisi-centric “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” and his still-popular mini-series “Jesus of Nazareth.” He directed more than two dozen films, and frequently worked with majors stars Elizabeth Taylor,
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