Italian director and screenwriter Bernardo Bertolucci, who won nine Oscar awards for “The Last Emperor,” died from cancer at the age of 77 on Monday.
He was born to a family of artists in the Italian city of Parma in 1940. At 15, Bernardo Bertolucci won the prestigious literary prize Premio Viareggio for his first book. He entered the University of Rome in 1958, where his film career started.
In 1987, he directed the biographical film “The Last Emperor,” which was adapted from the life of Chinese last imperial ruler, Pu Yi, reflecting on China’s transition from feudalism to the New China. The film was the first of its kind authorized by the Chinese government to be shot on-site in the Forbidden City.
The film swept the 60th Academy Awards, winning nine Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture. It also received four Golden Globe Awards, three British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA Awards), and other honors.
His other films include “The Conformist,” “Last Tango in Paris,” “The Sheltering Sky,” “Stealing Beauty,” and “The Dreamers”.
For his life-long contribution to the film industry, he was given the honor of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2007, and Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.
Chinese fans have mourned his death online.
Jia Zhangke, the Chinese award-winning director and screenwriter, wrote “Mourning” on his Weibo (China’s Twitter-like medium platform) account, to pay tribute to Bernardo Bertolucci.
Another Weibo user, Jianjiaqingqing, said, “Rest in peace. Thank you for leaving us great work for us to treasure and remember.”