'Last Tango In Paris' director Bernardo Bertolucci dies at 77

Ben Arnold
Italian director and Oscar winner Bernardo Bertolucci has died aged 77 (Credit: AAP)

Bernardo Bertolucci, who made movies like Last Tango In Paris and The Last Emperor, has died at the age of 77.

A spokesperson for the Italian director confirmed to the BBC that he had been battling cancer and died following a short illness.

Bertolucci won two Oscars for his work, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, both for The Last Emperor, his epic 1987 biopic of Puyi, the last emperor of China.

In fact, the film won all nine Oscars it was nominated for.

He also won an honourary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, and was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.

Bernardo Bertolucci, left, discusses a scene with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider during the shooting of Last Tango In Paris (Credit: AP)

However, he will likely be best known for his explicit drama Last Tango In Paris, released in 1972 nd detailing the torrid and at times sexually violent affair between Marlon Brando’s American businessman and a young Parisian woman, played by Maria Schneider.

Given the infamous ‘X’ certificate in the US, it was banned in many countries around the world.

Bertolucci made his break into cinema at the age of 20, becoming an assistant director to the iconic Pier Paolo Pasolini on the movie Accattone in 1961.

He directed his first film La Commare Secca the following year.

He is survived by his wife, the British screenwriter and director Clare Peploe.

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