AceShowbiz - "Last Tango in Paris" filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci has died at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer.
The award-winning Italian director passed away in Rome on Monday, according to Italy's La Repubblica newspaper. His publicist, Flavia Schiavi, subsequently confirmed his death to Variety.
Bertolucci made his name in his homeland in the early 1960s, directing his first movie at the age of 21. He came to international attention with his 1970 feature "The Conformist", for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Adapted Screenplay.
However, it was his 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris" that made him one of the most talked about names in cinema.
The erotic drama, which starred Marlon Brando as a widowed American who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young Frenchwoman, played by Maria Schneider, was controversial due to its explicit content - with one rape scene passing into notoriety as Schneider later claimed she had been unaware of its content before filming.
He later found success in Hollywood in 1987 with "The Last Emperor"- which told the story of Puyi, the titular last Emperor of China before the country's communist revolution. The film swept the 1988 Oscars - winning in all nine categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. It was also notable as Bertolucci secured permission to shoot scenes in Beijing's Forbidden City - the first western filmmaker to do so under communist rule.
Following its success, he made several mid-budget dramas including "The Sheltering Sky, and "Little Buddha", but none came close to matching the success of "The Last Emperor".
Although he was confined to a wheelchair in 2003 following an unsuccessful operation on a herniated disc, Bertolucci continued to make films and his final completed feature was 2012's Me and You.
He is survived by his wife, fellow filmmaker Clare Peploe. The couple had no children.