|Birth Day:||February 12, 1923|
|Birth Place:||Florence, Italy|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
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He studied art and architecture at the University of Florence.
Zeffirelli graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze in 1941 and, following his father's advice, entered the University of Florence to study art and architecture. After World War II broke out, he fought as a partisan, before he met up with British soldiers of the 1st Scots Guards and became their interpreter. After the war, he re-entered the University of Florence to continue his studies, but when he saw Laurence Olivier's Henry V in 1945, he directed his attention toward theatre instead.
While working for a scenic painter in Florence, he was introduced to Luchino Visconti, who hired him as an assistant director for the film La Terra trema, which was released in 1948. Visconti's methods had a deep impact upon Zeffirelli's later work. He also worked with directors such as Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini. In the 1960s, he made his name designing and directing his own plays in London and New York City and soon transferred his ideas to cinema.
Zeffirelli was a major director of opera productions from the 1950s in Italy and elsewhere in Europe as well as the United States. He began his career in the theatre as assistant to Luchino Visconti. Then he tried his hand at scenography. His first work as a director was buffo operas by Gioachino Rossini. He became a friend of Maria Callas and they worked together on a La traviata in Dallas, Texas, in 1958. Of particular note is his 1964 Royal Opera House production of Tosca with Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi. In the same year, he created Callas' last Norma at the Paris Opera. Zeffirelli also collaborated with Joan Sutherland, designing and directing her performances of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959. Over the years he created several productions for the Metropolitan Opera in New York, including La bohème, Tosca, Turandot and Don Giovanni. When the new Metropolitan Opera opened at Lincoln Center, he directed its first production, Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, starring Leontyne Price.
Zeffirelli's major breakthrough came the year after, when he presented two teenagers as Romeo and Juliet (1968). It made Zeffirelli a household name – no other subsequent work by him had the immediate impact of Romeo and Juliet. The film earned $14.5 million in domestic rentals at the North American box-office during 1969. It was re-released in 1973 and earned $1.7 million in rentals.
In 1996, he was awarded an honorary degree for services to the arts by the University of Kent at a graduation ceremony held in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1999, he received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In November 2004, he was awarded an honorary knighthood by the United Kingdom.
In 1996, Zeffirelli came out as gay, but thereafter preferred to be discreet about his personal life. Zeffirelli said that he considered himself "homosexual" rather than gay, as he felt the term "gay" was less elegant. Zeffirelli adopted two adult sons, men with whom he had lived and who worked for him for years, managing his affairs.
He roused controversy again when he told a newspaper in 2006 that he had not suffered any harm from sexual abuse by a priest as a child.
In 2018, actor Johnathon Schaech alleged that Zeffirelli sexually assaulted him during the filming of Sparrow (Storia di una capinera, 1993). Zeffirelli's son Giuseppe "Pippo" issued a statement at the time denying the allegation.
Zeffirelli died at his home in Rome on 15 June 2019, at the age of 96.
Franco was openly gay, but he supported the Roman Catholic Church and even offered to act as an image consultant for Pope Benedict XVI.
Currently, Franco Zeffirelli is 98 years, 0 months and 22 days old. Franco Zeffirelli will celebrate 99th birthday on a Saturday 12th of February 2022. Below we countdown to Franco Zeffirelli upcoming birthday.