Franco Zeffirelli

Director, Screenwriter, Politician
Having emerged from his native Italy as one of that country's most revered directors, Franco Zeffirelli's distinctive career reflected his reverence for the classics of music and literature. Nearly all his films were ... Read more »
Born: 02/12/1923 in Italy

Filmography

Director (21)

Callas Forever 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Tea With Mussolini 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

The Washington Opera Production of "Pagliacci" 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Director

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Sparrow 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Don Giovanni 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Director

Hamlet 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Il Giovane Toscanini 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Otello 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Pagliacci 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Director

La Boheme 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Director

La Traviata 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Endless Love 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Champ 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Brother Sun, Sister Moon 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Romeo & Juliet 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

The Taming of the Shrew 1967 (Movie)

(Director)

La Boheme 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

Cavalleria Rusticana (TV Show)

Director

Falstaff (TV Show)

Director

Turandot (TV Show)

Director
Writer (13)

Callas Forever 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Tea With Mussolini 1999 (Movie)

from autobiography (Book as Source Material)

Tea With Mussolini 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sparrow 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hamlet 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Il Giovane Toscanini 1988 (Movie)

(From Story)

Otello 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

La Traviata 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Brother Sun, Sister Moon 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Romeo & Juliet 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Taming of the Shrew 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Jesus of Nazareth (TV Show)

Screenplay
Actor (8)

The Siskel & Ebert Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Maria Callas: An Operatic Biography 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Callas 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Narrator
Art Department (7)

Don Giovanni 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Production Designer

Luciano Pavarotti 30th Anniversary Gala Performance 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Set Designer

Il Tabarro and Pagliacci 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Production Designer

The Metropolitan Opera Silver Anniversary 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Production Designer

Met Centennial Gala Telecast 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Set Designer

La Traviata 1982 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

La Boheme 1965 (Movie)

production design (Production Designer)
Producer (6)

Callas Forever 2004 (Movie)

(Producer)

Tosca 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Producer

Otello 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Producer

Otello 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Producer

Pagliacci 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Producer

The Taming of the Shrew 1967 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)
Production Management (2)

Senso 1967 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)

La Terra Trema 1965 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)
Other (1)

Carmen 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Production

Biography

Having emerged from his native Italy as one of that country's most revered directors, Franco Zeffirelli's distinctive career reflected his reverence for the classics of music and literature. Nearly all his films were lavish adaptations that utilized lush locations, extravagant sets and sumptuous costumes, which he first put on display in his contemporary-minded rendition of William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967). He vaulted onto the international stage with another adaptation of the Bard's work, "Romeo and Juliet" (1968), which featured inspired casting and a modern thematic take that helped it become a box office smash. After struggling a bit in the next decade, Zeffirelli delivered a stunning and rather reverent examination of "Jesus of Nazareth" (NBC, 1977), and on the big screen directed a remake of the 1931 Jackie Cooper movie, "The Champ" (1979). In the following decade, Zeffirelli focused much of his attention on opera, directing "La Bohème" (1982) and "Don Giovanni" for the stage, and "La Traviata" (1983) for the screen. He went on to turn action star Mel Gibson into a bona fide thespian in his shortened adaptation of "Hamlet" (1990), before tapping into his own life to direct the semi-autobiographical "Tea with Mussolini" (1999), which earned the highest praise of his career. Though his films were filled with detail that sometimes tended to overwhelm, Zeffielli nonetheless remained a daring filmmaker unafraid to pursue risky projects in an otherwise predictable commercial market.

EDUCATION

Florence University

1941 - 1946

Accademia di Belle Arti

Milestones

1999

Directed the autobiographical feature "Tea With Mussolini"

1996

Returned to features directing an adaptation of "Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre'"

1994

Elected to a seat in Italy's senate

1990

Put Mel Gibson through the paces as Shakespeare's "Hamlet"

1983

Recreated his staging of "La Traviata" as a film; also served as production designer

1979

Helmed the remake of "The Champ"

1977

Directed the TV miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth"

1968

Had international hit with his filming of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"

1967

Co-produced, co-wrote and directed English language film adaptation, "The Taming of the Shrew"

1966

Made documentary on Florence floods, "Florence: Days of Destruction"; narration by Richard Burton

1957

Feature film directing debut, "Camping"

1949

First professional stage design for Visconti's production of "Troilus and Cressida"

1947

Acted in Luigi Zampa's feature "L'Onorevole Angelina"

Worked as radio actor in Florence and Rome

Assistant to Luchino Visconti

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