Lina Wertmüller, First Female Oscar Nominee for Best Director, Dies at Age 93

Lina Wertmüller, the Italian filmmaker who was the first woman to receive an Oscar nomination for best director, died in Italy on Dec. 9 at the age of 93.

Wertmüller made history when she was nominated for an Oscar for best director with her 1975 film “Seven Beauties.”

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said in a statement that Wertmüller’s “unmistakable style left an everlasting mark on our — and the world’s — cinema.”

In 2019, Wertmüller received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Wertmüller also won Best Director, as well as other awards, from the New York Film Critics Circle for her 1974 comedy-drama film, “Swept Away.”

Wertmüller began her filmmaking career when film director Federico Fellini hired her in the 1960s and quickly became her mentor.

Wertmüller would later be known for her trademark white-framed spectacles.

In 1963, Wertmüller won her first award with her directorial debut, “The Basiliks,” and in 1972, she made her Cannes debut with “The Seduction of Mimi.”

Wertmüller also has a 1979 film recognized by the Guinness World of Records as having the longest title at 179 characters.


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