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First female Oscar-nominated director Lina Wertmüller dies at 93

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Wertmüller became the first female to be nominated for Best Director in 1977
Wertmüller became the first female to be nominated for Best Director in 1977   -   Copyright  AP Photo
By Shannon McDonagh  with AP

Italian director Lina Wertmüller, the first woman to receive an Oscar nomination for directing, has died, news reports and the Italian Culture Ministry confirmed on December 9. She was 93.

Wertmüller, who won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2019, died overnight in Rome surrounded by her family, the LaPresse news agency reported, quoting her relatives.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini paid tribute to Wertmüller, saying her “class and unmistakable style” had left its mark on Italian and world cinema.

“Grazie Lina,” he said in a statement.

Wertmüller in 1976 became the first woman to receive an Oscar nomination for directing for 'Seven Beauties,' a film for which she also was nominated for best original screenplay.

She didn’t win then, but the Academy acknowledged the milestone in awarding her a lifetime achievement four decades later.

Distinguished by her iconic white-rimmed glasses, she also directed 'The Seduction of Mimi,' 'Love and Anarchy' and 'Swept Away,' among other films.

She is survived by her daughter, Maria Zulima Job.