Divisive filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli dead at 96

Franco Zeffirelli, the Academy Award-nominated director behind Romeo and Juliet (1968), died peacefully today at his home in Rome after what his son, Luciano, told the Associated Press was a prolonged illness, according to Variety. The filmmaker is known for his literary adaptations, such as The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Hamlet (1990), and Jane Eyre (1996), but his flamboyant opera and theater productions are perhaps his most lasting legacy. Zeffirelli was a controversial figure for becoming a Catholic zealot and Vatican apologist following a near-fatal car accident in 1969, and in 2018, Sparrow (1993) actor Jonathon Schaech accused him of sexual assault.