The veteran movie director whose 1987 masterpiece swept its way to nine Academy Awards has died. Bernardo Bertolucci, whose “The Last Emperor” won Best Picture, Best Director and all nine categories in which it was nominated, died today in Rome, according to media reports.
Bertolucci, 77, died following a short battle with lung cancer.
The Italian-born Bertolucci shook up Hollywood norms years before “The Last Emperor” became the toast of the town. His 1972 erotic drama “Last Tango in Paris” became a lightning rod for controversy for its raw depiction of sexual violence and earned Bertolucci his first Oscar nomination for Best Director along with a Best Actor nomination for star Marlon Brando.
“Last Tango” is often credited with introducing explicit sex into mainstram cinema.
Bertolucci also received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for the 1970 release “The Conformist.” His other films included “1900,” “The Sheltering Sky,” “Little Buddha,” “Stealing Beauty” and “The Dreamers.”