FILE - In this photo taken on Dec. 7, 2007, Valentina Cortese arrives at the Milan La Scala opera house. The renown actress, who worked with some of the best directors of both theater and cinema such as Strehler, Fellini, Truffaut and Bergman, died in Milan Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Valentina Cortese, Italian screen diva, dead at 96

July 10, 2019 - 9:51 am

ROME (AP) — Valentina Cortese, one of Italy's post-war screen divas who was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar, has died. She was 96.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala announced the death Wednesday of the Milan-born actress in a tweet.

Cortese was a popular muse for leading Italian directors including Michelangelo Antonioni and Franco Zeffirelli.

She garnered an Oscar nomination in 1975 playing a fading diva in Francois Truffaut's "Day for Night," a movie about making movies.

She was also an acclaimed stage actress. Her performances at Milan's Piccolo Theater included roles in works by Brecht, Goldoni and Pirandello, directed by Giorgio Strehler. The theater will hold a wake for her on Thursday and Friday.

The theater in a statement mourned the loss of a "splendid, elegant, iconic" actress.

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